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The Long Run resumes for prostate cancer month

Today marks the start of Prostate Cancer Awareness month and Day 1 of The Long Run, a fundraising campaign that raises awareness and funds for Australian men with prostate cancer.

The campaign asks for participants to run 72km in September as individuals, or in teams, or to simply make a donation. To date, close to $180,000 has been raised for research, awareness and support.

The Long Run is organised by Australia’s leading community-based organisation for cancer research, awareness and support, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA).

As PCFA states, 1 in five men are likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer by 85 or 25,000 a year, and around 10 men die each day from prostate cancer.

Join or donate to The Long Run

The campaign also offers a library of resources including posters, social media graphics and facts sheets.

Father’s Day Prostate Cancer Fundraiser

Another key fundraising activity for Father’s Day in Australia on 3 September is Run with Dad, held in Toowoomba and Fannie Bay, NT.

Run with Dad was established by Katie Woolf, who lost her father to prostate cancer 10 years ago in the Northern Territory. To date $200,000 has been raised for the charity. Learn more about Katie's story. 

MRI screenings catch undetected prostate cancer - new research

Meanwhile, a UK study has found that MRI scans to screen men for prostate cancer could significantly reduce deaths from the disease.

The Reimagine study led by University College London invited 303 men aged between 50 and 75 to have a screening MRI and a Protein Prostate Specific Antigen [PSA] test. 

The study found that 16% or 48 men had an MRI that revealed the presence of prostate cancer despite having a median PSA density.

Of these, 32 men had lower PSA levels than the current screening benchmark and would not have been identified as needing a follow up.

29 men were recommended treatment for cancer and half of these had serious cancer.

“Our results give an early indication that MRI could offer a more reliable method of detecting potentially serious cancers early, with the added benefit that less than 1% of participants were ‘over-diagnosed’ with low-risk disease,” said Prof Caroline Moore, consultant surgeon at University College London hospital (UCLH) in London and chief investigator of the study.

Prof Mark Emberton, consultant urologist at UCLH, said: “The UK prostate cancer mortality rate is twice as high as in countries like the US or Spain because our levels of testing are much lower than other countries.

“Given how treatable prostate cancer is when caught early, I’m confident that a national screening programme will reduce the UK’s prostate cancer mortality rate significantly. There is a lot of work to be done to get us to that point, but I believe this will be possible within the next five to 10 years.”

The assistant director of research at Prostate Cancer UK, Simon Grieveson, said MRI scans had revolutionised diagnosis of prostate cancer.

“These results are extremely exciting, and we now want to see much larger, UK-wide studies to understand if using MRI as the first step in getting tested could form the basis of a national screening programme.”

Download the Study: Prevalence of MRI lesions in men responding to GP-led invitation for a prostate health check: a prospective cohort study published in BMJ Oncology.

Further reading

MRI scanning could lead to major cut in prostate cancer deaths, UK study finds (The Guardian, 22 August 2023)

Download: Do you Know what the prostate does? Learn more about PSA testing (PCFA)



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