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Major breakthrough in prostate cancer treatment

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Article image for Major breakthrough in prostate cancer treatment

Prostate cancer treatment has taken a significant step forward, with the ability to eliminate cancers without removing the prostate.

Surgeons can now greatly minimise the potential of side-effects and operate with increased accuracy by focusing specifically on the cancer itself.

Associate Professor Nathan Lawrentschuk, director of the EJ Whitten Prostate Cancer Research Centre, is excited about the medical advancements.

“It doesn’t mean that there’ll be no cancer in the rest of the prostate but the idea is that those cancers that are not treated will be small and low-grade, and not grow into trouble for the man but will treat the significant cancer – the one that may in fact escape and cause troubles for that patient,” he told Ross and John.

“The good news is for the vast majority of men, the cancers we find are low-grade and can just be watched.

“But what we are really interested in is finding those cancers that could potentially spread beyond the prostate and therefore cut a man’s life short.

“From when I started neurology many years ago, we’ve now gone from prostate cancer equals radical treatment to prostate cancer equals, in many cases, just watching and shifting through to find those particular cancers that are going to cause trouble.”

Professor Lawrentschuk also said that men shouldn’t be concerned over prostate checks anymore, with a “simple blood test” now the norm, making the traditional exam optional.

“We should have a test at around 50 in a good consultation with a local general practitioner. If you have a first degree relative you should start testing 10 years prior to that,” he said.

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