Navigate Trial in DVA ‘VETAFFAIRS’ National Newsletter
Prof Ian Gardner, Department of Veteran’s Affairs Chief Medical Advisor, published a commentary article in the December 2019 national VETAFFAIRS newsletter about the Navigate Trial. Prof Gardner is a vocal advocate of men being informed about their diagnosis and treatment options for prostate cancer. Following this publication, our research team were inundated with calls from veterans who wanted to know more about their treatment options, the costs involved and to share their personal stories. For our research team, this is further testament why the Navigate Trial exists.
“Mature rather than ripe…I am not ready to be plucked from the vine just yet! My feelings are that the specialist thinks at my 93 age I could die before any cancer treatment is required. I told him my granddad made 99 and i hoped to score the ton. No promises there from him though. Nice to share this business with you. Gives a meaning to who cares.”
Read full story here. Extract provided below:
…The second matter I want to raise again relates to one of my ‘favourite’ topics – diagnosis of and treatment for prostate cancer.
Because of the advanced age of many of our male veterans, this type of cancer diagnosis is unfortunately common. As advised in my article on this subject in the Autumn 2017 issue of Vetaffairs, there is rarely any urgency to seek immediate treatment, and there is always time for a proper discussion with your GP and family, and to get independent medical opinions from appropriate specialists such as urological surgeons, radiation oncologists, and so on.
Sometimes the best advice will be to do nothing other than active surveillance. Sometimes surgery will be needed. Other times, radiation and/ or hormonal treatment may be required. But in almost every case, there is no urgent need to start treatment, as the cancer may have been slowly developing over the previous 20+ years.
It’s also important for veterans and their families to fully understand whether they will be financially out of pocket for any treatments provided which are not billed to the DVA Health Cards. In some cases, this can amount to many thousands of dollars, and there is no evidence that higher cost procedures or treatments lead to better outcomes. So make sure you fully understand ALL the issues in deciding what treatment (if any) is right for you.
You may be interested to know about a new trial being funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council to help men with a new of low-risk prostate cancer navigate this extremely difficult decision tree.
Men with a new low-risk prostate cancer diagnosis within three months are being invited to take part in this trial. This is being coordinated by Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne.
However, veterans and other men from all over Australia are welcome to apply to take part in this trial. Men and their partners can register their interest to participate at navigateprostate.com.au. For more information, please contact Project Manager Natalie Richards on 03 8559 7453 or email [email protected]
Published in Vol. 34 No. 4 SUMMER 2018 by Professor Ian R Gardner, Chief Health Officer and Principal Medical Advisor. Department of Veteran Affairs, Australian Government.
Read the full article here:
If you are reading this article before June 2020 and have recently been diagnosed with early-stage, low-risk prostate cancer, please consider joining our research trial www.navigateprostate.com.au to help navigate your treatment options.
We’d love to hear from you!
[email protected] | (03) 8559 7453
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