Guest Speaker Report for May 2019 Newsletter.
Next meeting on 14th. May will feature a presentation by Guest Speaker Dr Emma Prowse from the Psycho-Oncology Service at the Calvary Mater.
Dr Emma Prowse is a Clinical Psychologist from the Calvary Mater Newcastle Psycho-Oncology Service.
Living with cancer can be very stressful for patients and their families. The Psycho-oncology Service offers assessment and evidence-based psychological services. This is a free service to patients of the Calvary Mater Hospital.
Emma will talk about coping with diagnosis and treatment,
the impacts on relationships and knowing when to seek help. Please feel welcome to note any questions you have as
there will be time for discussion after the presentation
Come along to the meetings and offer Support to YOUR Support Group and to the generosity of our Guest Speakers
Previously: April Meeting: David Marston- Mullen Health
David Marston, Naturopath, Herbalist and Nutritionist from
Mullen Health gave an introduction to the mechanics of
Prostate Cancer which would have been of great interest especially to new members Richard Dobosz and Craig Lewis.
Following on was a expose on the benefits of specific herbal mixes and nutritional guidelines such as the so-called Mediterranean diet, to give those diagnosed with Prostate Cancer the best possible outcomes.
Those who offered their email addresses will already have had contact from Mullen Health Care regarding discounted consultations and readily available suggestions to alleviate their predicament.
Leaflets concerning forthcoming free talks about Gut Health
and Thyroid abnormalities were distributed to members.
Offers of assistance to Committee
Thanks to Bela Sido and David Binskin for coming forward but do we need more people to volunteer to help keep the group in good health !!!!
HPCSG Social Outing
April meeting was also a bit busy and I forgot to pass around the sheet seeking expressions of interest for an outing later in the year. I will try and again during the May meeting so please indicate your preferences if any.
If unable to attend the May meeting but wish to participate in social events please email or SMS Text or phone, details below
- Lunch Cruise on Lake Macquarie. 12 noon – 2.30pm. and Sun. until end of June. $59 / $54. Board at Awaba House
- CHRISTMAS in July Lunch Cruise on Lake Macquarie. 11am-2pm Tuesday and Friday in July. $63 / $59
- Historic Morpeth. May 8th. and 22nd., June 6th. and 20th. 8hours including 1.5-hour lunch stop at Morpeth. Depart 9 am, Return 5 pm. $89 / $84.
- Hunter River Discovery Tour to Raymond Terrace for lunch. Sunday May 12th., 19th. and 26th. 10 am to 3.30 pm. $74 / $69. Lunch included.
- Newcastle Whale Watch Numerous dates in June, July and August. 10 am to 12.30pm. For more information see the Nova Cruises brochure or web site. $65 / $60. Morning / Afternoon tea and snacks available For more information see the Nova Cruises brochure or web site.
- A proposal from Bob McGregor is a trip on the Hawkesbury River Mail Boat, Train to Brooklyn then board Mail Boat at 10 am returning to Brooklyn at 1 pm Cruise $58/$48. Includes morning tea and Ploughmans Lunch. Every weekday.
Mike Seddon : On behalf of Guest Speakers.
Mobile : 0419 599 230
Email : [email protected]
Check out the website of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia ( PCFA)
By John Leeks
Recently I was speaking to the PCFA about the upcoming Dubbo Support Group Leaders Conference. The subject of information availability raised its head. The PCFA pointed out that many people are not aware of the vast amount of information that is available on its website. Our own members should be aware that the Committee is looking into improvements to our own website so that we can attract more members to our Group.
So it was opportune that the PCFA asked me what I thought about its website. I spent some time reviewing it, and, I must say that it has a considerable amount of information available to our members mostly on its activities.
The subjects range from:-
Getting Involved, and
For example, if you look at the Awareness Section, the information in this section provides a guide to their resources, more general information, further detailed information and importantly information for recently diagnosed men and their partners.
The Online Community link also has good information on the latest research, for instance, there are the latest findings from a European Conference on new surgical techniques to restore sexual functions post prostate cancer surgery in men
There is much to see in the site and I can recommend the site to our Group.
The link is https://www.prostate.org.au
Let us know what you think about the site at the next meeting and maybe you can let the Committee know if you have any ideas for our own website
The RADAR trial for men locally advanced high-risk prostate cancer: a dangerous variation, manifest by a bulky lump in the prostate and, although it has not yet spread, it will certainly do so and will often kill over the next 10 years.
by Prof J Denham
A description for the general public.
I get asked quite often what happens when a trial like RADAR gets done. In fact it’s not very difficult. Firstly we do our best to find out what the most commonly used treatment in our community Australia and New Zealand. We call this treatment “the standard of care” and for some years has been 6 months of hormone treatment followed by seven weeks of radiotherapy on 5 days each week (herein:”RT”).
This standard of care treatment was chosen when in an earlier trial run by our trials group TROG (ie the TransTasman Radiation Oncology Group 9601 trial) we found that RT by itself was not good enough.
The addition of 6 months of hormones cut the chances of spread of the cancer and death due to this spread by 50%, moreover we were pleased to find out from our patients that the side effects of treatment were very modest indeed.
In 2000 we hoped that we could do better with a longer duration of hormones as done in Europe and the United States. In a new trial we decided that “the standard of care” would be 6 months of hormone treatment followed by RT, and in the newly designed “RADAR program” we would seek to determine whether an extra twelve months of hormone therapy after RT, ie 18 months hormone therapy in total, together with 18 months of a bone drug called Zometa could prevent the loss of bone mineral density that can happen during hormone treatment, and might further prevent the spread of cancer into the bones.
The “RADAR program” achieved largely what we wanted. When it was compared to 6 months of hormone treatment and RT and 535 men had received each treatment program (ie. 1071 men in total) and were then followed at their treatment centres over 10 years, we learned in 2018 that the “RADAR program” had reduced the spread of cancer by a further 40% and deaths due to prostate cancer by a further 30%.
Treatment side effects and quality of life scores were increased by a modest amount on the “RADAR program” from the time of treatment until 2-3 years later and that after this they were no worse than “the standard of care” for another 7-8 years. Zometa did prevent the loss of bone mineral density, but it did not further prevent the spread of cancer into the bones as originally hoped.
These findings coincide with another major prostate cancer trial involving 630 French Canadian men published in European Urology by Nabid and colleagues last year who also responded well to the same treatment as used in the “RADAR program”. Of major importance, both trials found that 18 months of anti-testosterone therapy and RT was both effective and well tolerated. However instead of comparing the RADAR program with 6 months of hormone treatment followed by RT. The French Canadian trial compared their version of the RADAR program tested the value of 36 months of hormone treatment because it was widely held to be more effective in two European trials run by Bolla and colleagues. To no-ones surprise 36 months of hormone therapy resulted in substantially more treatment side effects and worse Quality of Life measures than the 18 months of hormones used in the “RADAR programs”. What was surprising, however, was that the French Canadians version of the “RADAR program” was no less effective than the 36 months of hormone treatment advocated by Bolla and colleagues” Finally, it is pleasing that the treatment costs of the “RADAR program” were not exorbitant.
As a result of these findings, we believe that because 18 months of hormone treatment is an effective, inexpensive treatment with tolerable side effects and Quality of Life measures the chances of the “RADAR program” becoming used on a global scale are high.
Footnote: A more accurate description of the frequently used phrase “hormone treatment” is in fact “anti-testosterone therapy aka androgen suppression”. Since normal prostate tissue and prostate cancer rely on testosterone for their growth, drugs that reduce testosterone concentrations to very low levels in the bloodstream cause the deaths of billions of prostate cancer cells wherever they are situated in the body ie most commonly in the prostate itself, skeletal bones and lymph glands. Unfortunately, anti-testosterone drugs are associated with over 20 treatment side effects many of which are prolonged. A full explanation of these side effects and their remedies is strongly recommended before these drugs are commenced.
The TROG prostate cancer trials…
25 years of innovative clinical research prior to its 30th Annual meeting.
1- The TROG 03.04 RADAR locally advanced prostate cancer trial will be published in the prestigious British Journal The LANCET Oncology in early February 2019. These cancers, which are yet to spread from the prostate, are dangerous because they will spread and will kill.
2-Up until the early 1990s Radiotherapy by itself (RT) was commonly used. However, TROG’s first prostate cancer trial called TROG 96.01 found that 6 months of anti-testosterone therapy reduced the spread of cancer from the prostate itself and, with this, deaths due to prostate cancer by 50% when compared to RT alone.
3- To improve treatment outcomes even further we tested the value of adding 12 months of anti-testosterone therapy after 6 months of anti-testosterone therapy and RT. In this second trial known as the TROG 03.04 RADAR trial, we found that 18 months of testosterone suppression therapy and RT to the prostate considerably reduced the spread of cancer from the prostate itself by a further 40% and, with this, deaths due to prostate cancer itself by a further 30%. 1071 men from Australia and New Zealand with locally advanced prostate cancer volunteered to participate in the RADAR trial 10 years ago.
4-These findings coincide with another major prostate cancer trial involving 630 French Canadian men published in European Urology last year who also responded well to the same treatment as used in the RADAR trial. Of major importance, both trials found that 18 months of anti-testosterone therapy and RT was both effective and well tolerated. Moreover Quality of Life measures were highly satisfactory. Finally, it is pleasing that treatment costs were not exorbitant. As a result of all of these findings, we believe that the chances of this new treatment becoming used on a global scale are high.
HPCSG would like to thank and acknowledge Prof Denham’s own contribution to men’s health and our newsletter this month. HPCSG would likewise appreciate news and updates from any health professionals associated with men’s health.
There are many things we can do to improve our health but which five actions will make the biggest difference?
It’s not an easy question to answer as it’s impossible to do a controlled trial comparing different actions but the Men’s Health Forum has decided to focus on five actions. We’re calling on all men to:
- Look after their relationships and wellbeing
- Not smoke
- Drink sensibly
- Be active
- Watch their weight
Why these five?
Men are less likely to lead a healthy lifestyle. They are more likely to smoke, drink alcohol to hazardous levels and be overweight or obese. These lifestyles can lead into serious diseases such as cancer, heart diseases and strokes, the risks of which can be reduced by leading a healthy lifestyle.
Men are more likely than women to smoke, smoke more cigarettes per day and smoke hand-rolled tobacco. (22% of men reported smoking compared to 17% of women.)
Men are more likely than women to drink alcohol and drink at hazardous levels. (14% of men reported drinking an alcoholic drink on five or more days in a week compared to 9% of women.)
67% of men are overweight or obese
Men are more likely than women to eat too much salt, red meat and processed meat Men are more likely than women to eat too little fruit and too little vegetables
67% of men reported they met the government recommendations for physical activity Participation in activity amongst men declines with age. (83% of men aged 16-24 met the recommendations for physical activity, compared with 57% aged 65-74.)
The Long Ride – May 2019
The PCFA Larapinta Trek
When: 3 – 8 May 2019
Where: Larapinta NT
Further details in newsletter
4th Biennial Dine & Dance for a Cure
WHEN: Saturday 18th May 2019 -6:30pm
WHERE: Canada Bay Club, Five Dock
Run for PCFA
WHEN – 19th May, 2019
WHERE: Hyde Park, Sydney
Relay for Life – Maitland
WHEN – 28th September, 2019
WHERE – Marcellin Park, Lorn