24 August 2021

New data released by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) shows that sons most at risk of developing prostate cancer may be unaware of their ticking cancer time bomb.

“While we get a large number of calls from daughters and partners seeking guidance on how best to support their loved ones after a prostate cancer diagnosis, fewer than one per cent of calls to our Telenursing Service are from sons,” said PCFA CEO, Professor Jeff Dunn AO.

“What concerns us the most is that men with an increased risk of prostate cancer, because of their family history, are not reaching out for vital information that could save their life in the future, by enabling earlier detection.”

Having a direct family member diagnosed with prostate cancer increases a man’s risk of developing the disease by 50 per cent, while having two or more close family members impacted carries a five-fold risk of diagnosis.

“Men whose father or brother has had prostate cancer are also at risk of developing the disease at a younger age, yet calls to our Telenursing Service from people in their 40s comprise just three per cent of calls,” Prof Dunn said.

“Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Australian men, claiming the lives of more than 3,000 each year, yet awareness levels in Australia are at historic lows.

“The tragic fact is that many men are clueless about their own risks of the disease, and it could cost them their lives.”

Prof Dunn said much could be done to improve survival rates, with awareness a key factor.

“Survival rates for prostate cancer are at an all-time high, with more than 95 percent of men surviving their disease for at least five years.

“However, significant gaps in survival can be seen between city and country Australia, with an overall 24 per cent higher risk of death in regional areas.

“It’s vitally important that we do more as a community to raise awareness of prostate cancer and encourage men to know their risks and family history of the disease.”

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, with this year’s theme, ‘Together for the long run’ dovetailing with PCFA’s signature awareness campaign, The Long Run, encouraging Australians to run, walk, or wheel 72km throughout the month to raise awareness and funding.

“The theme of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, ‘Together for the long run’, encourages men and their loved ones to unite as a community to save lives and improve the health of all those affected by prostate cancer, including wives and partners, sons and daughters.

“There are 230,000 men in Australia who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, a number set to increase by 60 per cent in coming years.

“By coming together for the long run, we can prevent the deaths of 30,000 men over the next 10 years,” Prof Dunn said.  

Go to www.thelongrun.org.au to take part or phone 1800 22 00 99 for support.


PCFA media contact: Laura McKoy | M. 0435 094 788