09 May 2018

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) commends the Federal Government for the new $400 Medicare rebate which will be made available for scans to diagnose and monitor prostate cancer.

Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, yesterday announced this funding for prostate MRIs from the Federal Budget.

Malcolm Freame, Chief Operating Officer of PCFA, says that this will be a financial advantage to men paying the full cost of the scans themselves. "Today's announcement will benefit thousands of men every year. In addition, it will change prostate cancer care by reducing the number of biopsies that can leave men with infections and other unpleasant side effects."

MRI scans have been greatly improved with recent new technology, known as multiparametric MRI which is better at detecting clinically significant tumours than biopsy.

“The way that prostate cancer is diagnosed in Australia needs to be improved. Clinically significant tumours are sometimes missed and relatively harmless tumours are often detected. Multiparametric MRI is more likely to detect clinically significant tumours than the standard transrectal ultrasound-guided biopsy and using it before a prostate biopsy has the potential to reduce the amount of men undergoing unnecessary biopsies by 27 per cent.” says Malcolm Freame.

PCFA fully supports the Medicare reimbursement of prostate MRI scans.