Prostate cancer leaves Australian men suffering in silence
In the lead up to World Health Day (April 7), Australians are being urged to get behind the 220,000 men across the country living with or beyond prostate cancer to ensure that no one battles the disease alone.
The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) has called on locals to show their support by reaching out to the men in their lives, and their communities, who may be suffering in silence.
Research shows 1 in 5 men with prostate cancer experience long-term anxiety and depression, but sadly, 72 per cent of those men impacted by prostate-related mental health issues will not seek help.
PCFA CEO, Professor Jeff Dunn AO, said World Health Day was a timely reminder of the importance of taking action to improve health outcomes for all Australians.
“The theme of World Health Day is ‘building a fairer, healthier world’ and part of our commitment to that means doing all we can to ensure there are no disparities in care and access to support,” Prof Dunn said.
“We know that many men struggle with the long-term side effects of prostate cancer related treatments, and at times, this can have a detrimental impact on their mental health.
“Alarmingly, Australian men with prostate cancer have a 70 per cent increased risk of suicide, compared to the general population.
“By working together, we can stop men from suffering in silence. In addition to providing better support services, we need all Aussies to commit to checking in on the men in their lives to ask how they are and be there when times are tough.
“This can be as simple as putting in a call to someone you know who has been impacted by cancer, sending someone a message or taking them out for a coffee.”
This year alone in Australia, nearly 17,000 more men will receive the life-altering news that they have prostate cancer.
PCFA support services are available to each and every man diagnosed, and their family, and include access to prostate cancer specialist nurses, support groups, resources, webinars, and more.
“Let’s make this World Health Day count. By doing so we will reduce the burden of prostate cancer on men in Australia, reduce the impact of mental illness in their lives, and importantly, reduce the risk of suicide,” Prof Dunn said.
For more information about Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia support services, visit pcfa.org.au.
Australians impacted by prostate cancer can also reach out for support through PCFA’s telenursing service to speak with a trained cancer specialist nurse on 1800 22 00 99.