According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, prostate cancer is the 2nd most common cause of cancer death among males as of 2017. On average, every day 54 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer while, sadly, 9 men are also lost to the disease each day. Yet in spite of such high diagnosis figures, Australia maintains some of the world’s best prostate cancer survival rates. The chance of surviving at least 5 years after being diagnosed with prostate cancer is roughly 95%, while countries like New Zealand only maintain a rate of roughly 90%. In fact, according to the New Zealand Cancer Society, 2,500 more New Zealanders would have survived cancer had they lived in Australia.
In the last few years, Australia has made great advancements in prostate cancer awareness and there is cause to believe this has helped to improve mortality rates. The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) is one of Australia’s leading research bodies and is continuing to fund studies into new treatments and educate the Australian public on early detection and prevention of prostate cancer. Since 2009, the PCFA’s Big Aussie Barbie fundraising and awareness campaign has raised more $5 million to support men with prostate cancer, their partners, and their families. Likewise, more than $58 million raised by the Movember campaign has been invested into the PCFA’s research program. These big, national prostate cancer campaigns are only some of the many that raise funds each year in Australia, including events like: Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, The Long Ride, Murray Meander, and countless other corporate and charity sport events.
All combined, the impact of these events has been even greater. Understanding of prostate cancer nationwide is rapidly increasing, with turnouts to such charity events growing each year and men making more deliberate efforts to have themselves regularly tested.
Ultimately, with such a massive impact on the lives of many Australians each year, organisations like the PCFA are proving crucial in providing resources to individuals so that community awareness can continue to grow and more can be done to help prevent and treat this pervasive condition.