To mark the beginning of Men’s Health Week, the E.J. Whitten Foundation and Epworth HealthCare yesterday announced the establishment of the E.J. Whitten Foundation Prostate Cancer Research Centre at Epworth - a new centre dedicated to improving treatment for men diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is recognised as the leading cancer in men (4,355 cases, 14% of all cancers and 26% of all cancers for men in 2015) and the third-ranking cause of cancer death for men.
Led by Epworth Urologist Associate Professor Nathan Lawrentschuk, the new centre will be based at Epworth Freemasons in Clarendon Street, East Melbourne.
A/Prof Lawrentschuk said today that men diagnosed with prostate cancer are living longer, thanks to earlier diagnosis and scientific and medical research that is guiding better ways to treat the disease.
“Thanks to better ways of treating and managing the initial diagnosis, many forms of prostate cancer are treatable and for some they are even curable.
“In 2015, prostate cancer resulted in 12% of total cancer deaths, but these rates have been decreasing by 1.1% per year since then.
“Based on current available statistics from the Cancer Council, Epworth is currently managing close to 50% of Victoria’s prostate cancer patients, which numbers more than 2300 patients.
“Multiple research projects will run concurrently at the new centre – seeing various approaches to treatment being tested and validated at the same time. This provides the best opportunity for clinical breakthroughs to be uncovered,” Prof Lawrentschuk said.
The CEO of E.J. Whitten Foundation Nick Holland said that the aim of the Foundation is to carry on Ted Whitten’s legacy to inspire men to take charge of their health.
“Since 1995 we have raised more than $12 million for men’s health and prostate cancer awareness and research. We are passionate about projects that save men from dying too young from this disease,” Mr Holland said.
“The centre brings together two big players in prostate cancer and urological research with a joint investment of $2million to fund a team of researchers, support staff and the facilities and equipment that are needed to offer a ‘bench to bedside’ approach to research,” Mr Holland said.
Epworth HealthCare has a clinical institute dedicated to uro-renal medicine and this encompasses Urology at Freemasons, Richmond and Eastern Hospitals. There are 18 urologists involved in research under the Uro-Renal Clinical Institute at Epworth.