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Local men to benefit from new specialist nurse

Men living in the Far West NSW Local Health District (FWLHD) with prostate cancer and their families now have access to specialised support, thanks to the introduction of a Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse based at the Broken Hill Health Service

Ruben Hillier has joined the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia’s Specialist Nursing Service, working with local health care teams and the community to improve outcomes for men impacted by the disease. Ruben will be based at Broken Hill Health Service (BHHS), and will provide support throughout the far west regions of Central Darling; Wentworth; Balranald and the Unincorporated Far West. 

PCFA CEO, Professor Jeff Dunn AO, said many men in the area would benefit. 

“Prostate cancer is the most common cause of cancer in Australian men, with about 16,700 men newly diagnosed each year. Sadly, each year in Australia about 3,152 men will die from the disease. 

“About one in five men with prostate cancer experience long-term anxiety and depression and many will struggle to cope with the challenges of diagnosis and treatment. Specialist nurses play a critical role in providing guidance, care and support,” he said.

By 2040 about 372,000 men will be living with or beyond prostate cancer in Australia, representing a 68 per cent increase from 220,000 today and the greatest number of men or women diagnosed with any single cancer.

“Of concern to the growing burden of prostate cancer on the Australian community, men with a family history of prostate cancer have double the risk of being diagnosed, and men in regional and rural areas of Australia face a 24 per cent higher risk of death,” Professor Dunn said.  

Australia has one of the highest rates of prostate cancer in the world, with one in every six Australian men likely to be diagnosed by age 85. 

PCFA’s Director of Nursing Programs, Sally Sara, said Ruben would be a welcome addition to the nationwide Service. 

“From the point of diagnosis, Ruben will offer expert education and information about treatment plans, referrals to services both in the hospital and community, and provide an ongoing point of contact and support for men and families.

“Good support and connection to information and services is incredibly important in a diagnosis of prostate cancer. 

FWLHD’s commitment will vastly improve the support available to local men and families impacted by the disease, giving men much greater confidence that they can navigate the challenges of prostate cancer with all the support they need.”

FWLHD Program Director Cancer & Palliative Care Services, Melissa Cumming said: “We are proud to partner with Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia to deliver this life-changing service for local men and families, and we welcome Ruben into this very important role.” 

Ruben can be contacted on 08 8080 2272 for information or referrals to the service.