Guest Speaker Report 

November Meeting

At our November meeting, we enjoyed a formal presentation by Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurses Tracy Scott and Nancy Consoli. In an easy and relaxed way, they talked about their previous experience in the nursing profession and described how they interact with the Specialists at the Mater Hospital and with the prostate cancer community in the Newcastle and Lower Hunter region. With the frightening number of men being diagnosed each year, they have their work cut out to cover everyone but let’s hope their services can be continued and hopefully expanded. One of their greatest assets is their ability to talk about difficult and personal subjects without embarrassment.

Their contact details can be seen on the front page of the newsletter.

On Tuesday 11th December we have a return visit from Men’s Health Consultant Greg Millan.

Greg has a wealth of experience in men’s health issues, especially those not often talked about.!

Projects like cancermate, Fight like a MAN, the annual National Men’s Health Gathering and numerous studies on Men’s Health issues are all part of his day.

In 2011 Greg partnered with the PCFA to establish the first Gay and Bisexual Men’s prostate cancer support Group in NSW.

Today Greg will talk about a paper he presented at the 2018 National Gathering which concentrates on the delivery of “male friendly” support services for men and boys diagnosed with cancer.

As always questions are welcome and your participation encourages our guest speakers. You can ask in person at the meeting, leave a note in the Suggestion Box or if you wish to contact a committee member to take a note of your question.

Social Event for 2019

At our recent committee meeting two options were proposed for a social event in 2019.

  • Nova Cruises run a day long cruise to Historic Morpeth at a cost of $89.
  •  The other option could be the Hawkesbury River Mail Boat run departing Brooklyn Wharf for approx.. 3 hours cruise delivering mail along the Hawkesbury River.

More details and expressions of interest at December meeting


Mike Seddon  :  On behalf of Guest Speakers.

Mobile : 0419 599 230

email: [email protected]





Hosted by SBS’S Ricardo Goncalves, our panel of experts in Prostate Cancer will discuss an overview of advanced prostate cancer including:

  • Symptoms and diagnosis
  • What happens when prostate cancer gets out of the prostate
  • What treatments are available, and managing side effects
  • Staying well while on treatment; including pain management and mental health
  • Key challenges in managing an advanced prostate cancer diagnosis
  • Clinical trials


28t h  November 2018

7:00 TO 8.00PM


Thanks to Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse, Tracy Scott for the above article

NOTE: HPCSG Editor is not a health professional and bears no responsibility to any claims held within any publications and articles mentioned. Please discuss and seek advice from your own preferred health professional regarding any information or interest found in any article

Genetic variation in the SIM1 locus is associated with erectile dysfunction

Authors Jorgenson, Matharu, Palmer et al.

Review Date October 2018

Citation PNAS. 2018. pii: 201809872


Erectile dysfunction (ED) is common in older men, and in Australia one in 5 men over the age of 40 reports moderate to severe ED.[1] ED can have physical or psychological causes and a range of factors including high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, smoking, sleep apnoea and lower urinary tract symptoms contribute to the risk (2, 3, 4). ED is strongly associated with symptoms of depression and anxiety, which have a bidirectional relationship.[2, 3, 4]

Given the link between ED and chronic, particularly cardiovascular, disease, there is a strong need to understand the aetiology of ED in its different forms so that it may be better treated. Up to one-third of ED risk may be related to genetic inheritance, independent of known ED risk factors.[5] However, to date, no specific changes in the genome have been identified that are associated with ED. In this study, the researchers looked across thousands of common gene variations already mapped in the human genome (single nucleotide polymorphisms [SNPs]) to see if any are linked to the presence of ED.


The SIM1 gene is involved in the leptin-melanocortin pathway, which regulates aspects of body weight and sexual function. Given that the study did not find BMI to be associated with the presence of the SNP (rs17185536-T) in ED cases, the authors hypothesised that the increased risk may occur through a direct effect on sexual function. They speculated that the presence of this SNP may cause differing SIM1activity in neurons that control erectile function.

This study identifies a previously unknown gene pathway that could contribute to the cause of ED in some men. Future studies will be needed to better understand the mechanism by which the SIM1 gene regulates erectile function, but this presents potential new areas for future ED therapies.

Further reading

Calls for a new prostate cancer education campaign in the Hunter

Scott Bevan 13th October 2018

…Brendon Young is concerned many men are not having their PSA levels tested and could be missing out on early detection, if there is cancer.

“You ask blokes my age, ‘What’s your PSA level?, and often it’s, ‘I don’t know. I’ve been meaning to get it done’,” Mr Young says. “It’s fear. They don’t want to know.”…

“So this is the age-standardised incidence rate, the detection rate,” explains Conjoint Professor of Radiation Oncology, Jim Denham, the radiation oncologist based at the Calvary Mater

Newcastle and leader of the University of Newcastle’s Prostate Cancer Trials group.

His finger climbs from about the year 2000 until it reaches a peak just beyond 2007.

Professor Denham explains this line plots an encouraging ascent out of unenviable statistics for prostate cancer in the Hunter New England local health district in the early 2000s.

“We had the lowest detection rate and the highest mortality rate [in the state],” he says.

A string of education and awareness campaigns helped prod the climb in the detection rate.

One in particular was tailored for the men of the Hunter and New England regions. It had the cheeky title of “Get a Little Prick”, and the campaign began in 2007. Through advertisements and promotional literature, men over 50 were encouraged to have a blood test.

The Little Prick awareness campaign ran for about 18 months, costing about $400,000, predominantly from private sources.

“It does look rather like people, the general public, even perhaps ourselves, said, ‘Look, that’s it, we’ve done it now. So that’s it’,” Professor Denham says.

But it wasn’t. Professor Denham returns to the detection rate graph, to track the line from 2007 to 2014. His finger descends. In those seven years, there was a 35.4 per cent drop in the local health district.

“I’m certainly sorry and concerned,” Professor Denham says of that drop after the education campaign finished. ““It is disappointing that the Little Prick campaign seems to be the end of it, and things have lagged on since then.”

What adds to his concern is that while the health district experienced a drop in the mortality rate, Hunter New England has continued to rank among the highest in the state in that category.

In 2014, 150 men in the Hunter New England local health district died from the disease.

Further reading

In Letter to the editor,17th October, 2018, HPCSG member, Gary Herrett writes:

TOGETHER with the editorial (‘When awareness raised is falling away’, Opinion 13/10), thank you Scott Bevan, for your great article on Saturday regarding prostate cancer (Newcastle Herald 13/10).

Apart from Brendon Young’s personal story, Professor Denham’s latest statistics on the recent local decline in prostate cancer awareness and an increase in mortality from the disease should be a wake-up call to us all. Sponsored by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, I am aware that the Hunter Prostate Cancer Support Group does excellent voluntary work in the community assisting men plus their families experiencing prostate cancer and its effects.

I know that following any requests for guest speakers, the group also readily provides free of charge to any forum men trained as speakers who are themselves survivors of prostate cancer. Who better to talk about it than those who have experienced prostate cancer?

While easily curable if detected early, we need to again better promote community awareness about prostate cancer.

A world first advance in cancer support for men with prostate cancer online.

PROSTMATE provides men with personalised, specialist support online and provides a private portal where they can track their progress before and after treatment. Members also have the opportunity to participate in interventions that will enhance their wellbeing and provide vital research information to shape the future care of men with prostate cancer.

The need for this revolutionary online clinical system was driven by men with prostate cancer who experienced limited access to tailored information and clinical support during their difficult prostate cancer journey.


Provides patients and their partners with early intervention and self-management strategies. Provides specialist online clinical consultations for all men, including those living in regional and rural Australia to improve the equity of access and personalised care.

Captures valuable patient reported data for population research that will lead to improved models of support.

Offers a multidisciplinary, collaborative platform for enhanced care including interaction between peak bodies, GP’s, urologists, oncologists, nurses and family members.

Further reading:










Thank you to HPCSG member, Brad Scott for the above article.


Save the Date

Stoney Creek 3 ball Golf Classic

WHERE – Various Golf Clubs around Australia including: Inverell Golf Club.

The Stoney Creek 3 ball Golf Classic is the new Ultimate Golf Challenge where three mates take on the might of the golf course in a team effort that could see them battling out the Final at one of Australia’s top golf courses.

WHEN – Inverell event: 23rd March 2019



The Long Ride – May 2019 ong-ride-2019