Queensland doctor leading fight against prostate cancer
A TELEHEALTH provider says regional and remote areas such as Gladstone are leading the way in testing following a rise in the proactively checking for prostate cancer.
Dr Elliot Smith, founder of Queensland telehealth Maxwell Plus, said the regional and remote statistics were a positive step in the fight against prostate cancer.
“However, mortality rates are still significantly higher than those in urban centres,” he said.
“Men in these areas have a 21 per cent higher mortality rate than men in capital cities and for every 100 men in Australian cities who die from prostate cancer, in rural and regional Australia that number jumps to 121.
“In the past 12 months we are seeing a big uptake by men living in regional and remote areas – for example Weipa, on the Cape York Peninsula, where it can take more than 10 hours to drive to the nearest city hub for testing.
“Males should look at their risk factors like family history and talk to their doctor about testing from the age of 50 as early detection can increase the chance of survival to 98 per cent.”
Dr Smith said prostate cancer was the most common cancer diagnosed in Australian men, claiming nearly 3500 lives last year, more than breast cancer, because of late diagnosis.
“Innovative technology like Maxwell Plus will help save lives, remove confusion around testing and complement the skills of clinicians, ultimately leading to better patient outcomes,” he said.
“Maxwell Plus looks at the same data a doctor would, but utilities artificial intelligence technology, enabling the data to be interpreted at a faster speed with high accuracy and highlighting cancer indicators not obvious to the human eye.
“Our doctors are embracing the technology to help them manage their patients’ risk of prostate cancer while companies are also getting involved with onsite testing to improve the health of their staff.”
“If men are detected at stage one, when the cancer is a single lump or isolated lesion, the five-year survival rate is 98 per cent. If you’re caught later than stage two, that survival rate drops to about 26 per cent.”
Dr Smith said ultimately Maxwell Plus was aiming to achieve the goal of every man that ends up with prostate cancer being diagnosed early enough that all options are in front of him, and that men do not need to go through unnecessary testing.
“Maxwell Plus connects men with a clinician and lets them know if they should get tested. If so, a blood test is ordered and reviewed by Australian clinicians dedicated to prostate cancer testing.”