For GPs

Prostate Cancer Treatment Options

02 May 2017

Cancer Council Australia have joined forces with Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia and NSW Cancer Institute to produce a Prostate Cancer Treatment Options flyer which emphasises the importance of men seeing a radiation oncologist and being fully informed, before they make a decision on which pathway of treatment to take.


Click here to view the Cancer Institute NSW Prostate Cancer Management Options flyer.


Lee Hunt, Executive Member of Cancer Voices NSW (CVNSW) recently sent out information on prostate cancer treatment options to over 160 Prostate Cancer Support groups.
She has also provided these groups with summaries of exciting innovations in radiation oncology including results of the recently published PROFIT trial confirming that a 4- week course of radiation therapy (halving usual treatment time) is as safe and effective as the standard 8-week course.

All men with prostate cancer need to ensure that they have opinions for treatment from both a radiation oncologist as well as the surgeon who diagnoses the cancer. There is strong evidence now that demonstrates that radiation therapy is as effective as surgery in curing prostate cancer. Recent studies suggest that long term sexual and urinary side effects are lower with radiation therapy compared to surgery.

A referral to a radiation oncologist can be given either by the urologist or a general practitioner. It is crucial that a patient be given the time to investigate the available information from experts before deciding on the treatment choice.

We have received some overwhelmingly positive support and responses from Prostate Cancer Support groups. Below are two excerpts.

“I have always taken the opportunity to tell men that prostate cancer is a slow growing cancer and the time it takes to “get the correct advice and make a decision” makes no difference to the possibility of a good outcome. Men tend to want to get the thing over and done with “PDQ”, they need reassurance that this is not necessary.”

“Thanks for your information. This is something I have been telling our members for many years now.  At 50 years of age (7 years ago), I was told by my urologist (surgeon) that surgery was “gold standard”, and the only real option for me. However, I did extensive research and decided that brachytherapy best suited me, but a struggle ensued finding someone that would carry out that procedure. I was told by one that I was too young, and there is no way he would even consider that option even in 5 years time. When I stated that my concerns with surgery were incontinence and ED, he just leaned back in his chair, opened his arms and stated “no problem, we can fix all that”. Yeah right, why are so many men fighting these side effects plus depression from comments like this. My cancer was low grade, and very small. Through persistence, I finally got my way, as I had a GP on my side who wrote various referrals to assist me. Anyhow, that is my story in relation to this topic, and I repeat to many in the hope that others will take more control over their treatments”

Click here for more information about radiation therapy for prostate cancer.

About the Author and Cancer Voices:

Lee Hunt is an Executive Member of Cancer Voices NSW (CVNSW). She is the leader and coordinator of the Consumers in Research program for CVNSW and CV Australia.

In 2000, Sally Crossing founded Cancer Voices to advocate on behalf of all people with cancer. CVNSW, in conjunction with the Cancer Council NSW, runs advocacy and research training for cancer consumers and supports consumer representation on a range of committees. It has been influential in improving cancer diagnosis, treatment, care, information and the direction of cancer research in Australia. Lee was diagnosed with an aggressive Grade 3 cancer at age 53. Following surgery to remove the tumour, she undertook an 18 month treatment program to reduce the risk of a reoccurrence. Unfortunately she suffered significant side effects from all three treatments. Realising that the cancer journey doesn’t stop when treatment finishes led Lee to look for ways she could connect and advocate with others who shared the same experience. After a 40 year career in education she joined CVNSW and has since taken on various volunteer consumer roles on research projects and committees. She is a member of the Centre for Research Excellence DISCOVER TT, at Menzies School of Health.

Lee has been the consumer representative to the RANZCR Faculty of Radiation Oncology Media and Profile Committee and is presently the consumer member of the Faculty of Radiation Oncology Council. Lee works tirelessly as an advocate for a wide range of issues facing people with cancer of all types.

Targeting Cancer would like to acknowledge her major past and ongoing contributions to the Campaign.