Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian men, with over 18,000 new cases each year. Men in Australia have a 1 in 5 chance of being diagnosed before the age of 85 and a 1 in 25 chance of dying from prostate cancer. This makes prostate cancer more common than any other type of cancer and more lethal than most other cancer types. Furthermore, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare predict that incidence will increase by 50% by 2020 The high incidence, associated mortality and growing population burden make prostate cancer a health care priority in Australia. The South Australian Prostate Cancer Clinical Outcomes Collaborative recruits men in South Australia who are diagnosed with prostate cancer and records diagnosis details, pathology, treatment and outcomes such as disease recurrence or death. Patient reported outcomes are also collected up to 5 years after treatment to assess how quality of life is affected. This resource allows outcomes to be compared across patients to aide selection of the best prostate cancer treatment for each individual.
What we aim to achieve
Providing a clinical tool that allows each patient and clinician to make an informed choice about prostate cancer treatment options is the end goal. At the same time, the effect of current practices on patient outcomes can be assessed, hopefully providing indicators as to how treatment can be improved.
What are the next steps and milestones for your research?
The next step in our research is to expand our population coverage to 90% (up from 55%).
What motivates you to pursue cancer research?
I am motivated to help improve health for Australians. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Australia - it must be the most important disease to study in order to improve the lives of as many people as possible.
My message to supporters:
There are a bewildering number of options for the treatment of prostate cancer. We are very grateful for the funding from Cancer Council SA which allows us to track men treated for prostate cancer and compare their outcomes. We anticipate that this research will help men make better treatment choices in the future.