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Wimmera prostate cancer patients will soon have access to a Horsham-based specialist nurse.

Member for Mallee Dr Anne Webster has announced a Wimmera Health Care Group application for federal funding through the Prostate Cancer Nurses Program had been successful. The program started three years ago and funded 29 prostate nurses across Australia. Wimmera Cancer Centre is one of five additional organisations benefiting from the second round of funding for the program.

Wimmera Cancer Centre manager Carmel O’Kane said the inclusion of a prostate cancer nurse to her team would mean Wimmera men could visit a specialist nurse in Horsham without travelling to Ballarat or Melbourne.

“Our region has a similar ratio to the rest of the state when it comes to prostate cancer numbers but unfortunately we have a poorer survival rate than the rest of Victoria,” Ms O’Kane said.

“This is due mainly to a lack of awareness around prostate cancer and the amount of travel required to access services,” she said.

“A prostate cancer nurse on the team will be able to better educate the community and bring more awareness.

“They can also look after all the other things involved such as the consequences of treatment and lifestyle changes that men have to make.

“A big advantage is that they can help men make the decision about the best treatment options for each individual case.”

Dr Webster welcomed the announcement from Minister for Health Greg Hunt, saying prostate cancer was estimated to be the second most common cause of cancer deaths in Australian men in 2020.

“Sadly, more than 16,700 Australian men are expected to be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year,” Dr Webster said.

“So many Australian men and their families have had their lives turned upside down by prostate cancer, so I’m very pleased they will have the support of these specialised nurses now and into the future.

“It’s fantastic that our region will benefit, with a prostate cancer nurse funded at Wimmera Cancer Centre.

“This funding sends a message to men with prostate cancer that they do not have to face this terrible disease alone.”

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