OCTOBER 30: OTAGO DAILY TIMES: A Waimate man is “peeved off” with the NZ medical system, saying doctors are not proactive enough in contacting men and getting them to go for a prostate cancer check. READ MORE>
AUGUST 19: NZ HERALD: Fisher & Paykel Appliances chief executive John Bongard says he has been grappling with prostate cancer for the past year and will leave the business at the end of the year. READ MORE>
AUGUST 16: OTAGO DAILY TIMES: A protein found in the prostate gland could hold the key to developing a more accurate screening test for prostate disease, University of Otago researchers say. READ MORE>
JULY 18: STUFF: A 49-year-old Christchurch father dying from prostate cancer is surviving on food bought by friends because his insurance company refuses to pay out on his life policy, claiming he failed to mention his father was diagnosed with the disease at a young age. READ MORE>
JULY 16: DOMINION POST: A UK scientist and one from Norway have challenged Otago University professor Murray Skeaff’s report from a Prague conference that a study due out soon will clear folic acid of its potential links to prostate cancer. They say he omitted to mention a Norwegian study presented to the meeting – which found an overall increased risk of cancer in two trials (including deaths) – and point out the Prague conference on Homocysteine Metabolism last month voted by majority to oppose mandatory fortification of foods with folic acid. READ MORE>
JULY 16: DOMINION POST: Any decision to mass-medicate a population cannot be taken lightly, says the paper in an editorial today. First, there are safety concerns: two peer-reviewed US studies have linked excessive folate to higher rates of prostate cancer in men and inflammatory bowel disease in children. There has also been concern that in elderly people, high levels of folic acid might mask low levels of B12, which can lead to neurological damage. READ MORE>
JULY 16: SCOOP: TVNZ has announced the four charitable organisations – including the Prostate Cancer Foundation of NZ – will get free on-air advertising for the next two years. The TVNZ Community Support Foundation sponsorship provides charities with free air time worth up to $50,000 a month, which allows the recipients to promote their services and drive fundraising activities. READ MORE>
JULY 15: DOMINION POST: New Zealand has effectively been given the green light to axe rules forcing bakers to add folic acid to bread from September. The office of Australian parliamentary secretary for health Mark Butler told Wellington’s Dominion Post newspaper it was New Zealand’s call whether to proceed with the trans-Tasman standard, agreed in 2007. READ MORE>
JULY 14: NZ HERALD: Food Safety Minister Kate Wilkinson says she will seek a review of the use of folic acid in bread – but not until a month after bakers have started adding it. READ MORE>
JULY 14: OTAGO DAILY TIMES: There is no evidence of an increased cancer risk from plans for bakers in New Zealand and Australia bakers to fortify their bread with folic acid, a leading scientist says. A big “state of the art” scientific study which has not yet been published, “shows that there is no increase in cancer risk with high-dose folic acid,” said Professor Murray Skeaff, a specialist in human nutrition at Otago University. READ MORE>
JULY 12: TVNZ: Green Party MP Sue Kedgely has again raised the possible danger of folic acid causing prostate cancer, weeks before a new NZ law will force bakers to include folic acid in all bread as a “vaccine” against birth defects. TV presenter Paul Holmes – a prostate cancer survivor – today interviewed Kedgely and food safety Minister Kate Wilkinson, who says she can do nothing. SEE HERE>
JULY 12: SUNDAY STAR-TIMES: Prominent Labour local body politician Mike Lee (59) revealed today he has “mid-range aggressive” prostate cancer and is undergoing external beam radiation and hormone therapy. The Star-Times today reveals the story of how this hit him at a time when his position of chairman of the Auckland Regional Council was under severe pressure, following the organisation’s disastrous backing of a David Beckham soccer match in Auckland last year. READ MORE>
JULY 3: TVNZ: The Rowing for Prostate charity crew who had lost contact with race organisers in the Indian Ocean several days ago are safe and well. READ MORE>
JULY 2: GUIDE2.CO.NZ: Parliament’s health select committee has issued terms of reference for its inquiry into early detection and treatment of prostate cancer. READ MORE>
JUNE 27: OTAGO DAILY TIMES: Many men in New Zealand are suffering side effects after radiotherapy and surgery for prostate cancer which would never have killed them, and a screening programme would increase this, says University of Otago public health researcher Dr Brian Cox. READ MORE>
JUNE 27: EUREKALERT.ORG: Higher selenium levels in the blood may worsen prostate cancer in some men who already have the disease, according to a study by researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute the University of California, San Francisco. READ MORE>
JUNE 27: URO TODAY: The results of a new study of men screened for prostate cancer show that erectile dysfunction increases in a non-linear fashion with age, consistent with the findings of previous reports. READ MORE>
JUNE 19: STUFF.COM: Prostate cancer testing and treatment will be investigated by MPs after concerns the Health Ministry’s guidelines on testing are outdated. READ MORE>
JUNE 8: NZ DOCTOR: Some 50 per cent of men diagnosed via a PSA test would never experience symptoms if left untreated, says a NZ epidemiologist who has analysed the large randomised studies reported recently. READ MORE>
JUNE 6: MANAWATU STANDARD NZ: About one in five cancer patients throughout the central North Island in NZ is not getting the radiotherapy that could help them because there aren’t enough treatment machines. READ MORE>
MAY 26: STUFF: NZ Health and Disability Commissioner Ron Paterson has called for more robust systems to be implemented at Nelson Hospital after a man underwent unnecessary prostate surgery. The 67-year-old man underwent radical surgery in 2007 after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer by a locum senior pathologist. While the surgery was uneventful, the man experienced ongoing urinary incontinence and another pathologist reviewed the diagnosis and found no evidence of malignancy. READ MORE
May 18, 2009: OTAGO DAILY TIMES: A man whose family has been devastated by prostate cancer is calling on Queenstown’s support as he rows his way towards $10,000. READ MORE>
April 29, 2009: OTAGO DAILY TIMES: An experimental treatment added four months to the lives of men with advanced prostate cancer in a study that tested an entirely new approach to fighting the disease, doctors reported on Tuesday. READ MORE>
April 29, 2009: NZ HERALD: MILWAUKEE (AP) – For the first time, leading medical groups in the US are advising millions of healthy men who are regularly screened for prostate cancer to consider taking a drug to prevent it. READ MORE>
April 22, 2009: NZ DOCTOR: Opinion is still divided over the value of prostate cancer screening in the wake of the results of two widely anticipated trials. Interim results from the US-based Prostate, Lung, Colo-rectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Screening Trial and the Euro-pean Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPRC) trial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine last month (18 March online). Locally and internationally, prostate cancer screening proponents and sceptics have interpreted the results as representing further justification for their position on prostate cancer screening with regular prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing and digital rectal examinations (DREs). READ MORE>
April 17, 2009: STUFF: Pedalling the length of New Zealand has helped raise awareness about prostate cancer, men’s health campaigner Rick Martin told the Orewa Rotary Club. Last November Mr Martin cycled from Bluff to Cape Reinga, covering 2088km in 18 days. READ MORE>
April 15, 2009: 3NEWS: An experimental treatment that takes an entirely new approach to fighting prostate cancer extended survival in a late-stage study, its maker announced Tuesday. READ MORE>
April 8, 2009: STUFF: A prostate cancer drug that takes a new approach to blocking tumour growth helped more than 40 percent of men with advanced prostate cancer. READ MORE>
March 29, 2009: NEWSTALKZB: Radio Network station Radio Sport is putting the focus on prostate cancer this morning. Between nine and 10 o’clock, veteran host Phil Gifford will talk about his battle with the disease. READ MORE>
March 25, 2009: NZPA and VOXY.CO.NZ: The study behind controversial research findings from the US that found a common blood test for prostate cancer has no benefit in reducing deaths has been challenged by Australia’s and New Zealand’s peak body for urological surgeons. Having carefully reviewed the study into Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood tests undertaken in the US, the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand believes that there were design flaws in the US study which invalidate the results. READ MORE>
March 20, 2009: STRAIGHT FURROW: A POPULAR blood test to detect early signs of prostate cancer does not save lives and causes many men to undergo needless surgery, according to the most definitive research yet into the controversial issue. READ MORE>
March 16, 2009: NATIONAL BUSINESS REVIEW: People who are heavier drinkers are much more likely to develop prostate cancer, according to a new international study. READ MORE>
March 14, 2009: RADIONZ: Men who consume two or more standard alcoholic drinks a day are 20% more likely to develop prostate cancer than men who drink less. READ MORE>
March 6, 2009: AUCKLAND HARBOUR NEWS: OCEAN ADVENTURE: Rowing For Prostate team members, from left: Billy Gammon, Peter Staples, Tom Wigram and Matt Hampel are set to take part in the first ever Indian Ocean Rowing Race next month, to raise funds for the fight against prostate cancer. READ MORE>
March 3, 2009: NZPA Images: Photographs of Kiwi team in the Indian Ocean Rowing Race, Rowing for Prostate. READ MORE>
January 28, 2009: ODT: Auto enthusiasts will be spoiled for choice at the Rilean Car Show next month, when more than 300 rare vehicles will be on display in Queenstown as part of the Queenstown Auto Extravaganza. The weekend is designed to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand. READ MORE>
January 17, 2009: DOMINION POST:More than 80 per cent of Maori with early-stage prostate cancer in the Wellington region are not treated for the killer disease, Otago University researchers have found. READ MORE>
January 15, 2009: TVNZ: Prostate cancer experts have urged the US Congress and the incoming Obama administration to make a major research commitment to find better detection methods, including what they call a “man-o-gram”. READ MORE>
January 1, 2009: STUFF: The Health Ministry’s foot-dragging stance on prostate cancer screening for Kiwi men is criminal, patient advocates and doctors say.
A study by Wellington researchers of prostate screening and treatment, published in the December edition of the international journal Pathology, suggests the ministry’s outdated guidelines could be costing 200 men their lives each year.
Lead researcher Associate Professor David Lamb, who heads radiology services at Wellington Hospital and chairs the Cancer Standards Institute, said the ministry did not recommend testing men with no symptoms of prostate cancer, but the study showed that early detection saved lives and money.
“The ministry needs to withdraw the outdated guidelines, provide new ones and invest more resources in encouraging New Zealand men to seek screening from their GP.”
Prostate Cancer Foundation president Barry Young said the present guidelines were “absolutely criminal”.
“Prostate cancer doesn’t have any symptoms in the early stages – that’s the insidious nature of the disease.”
Despite the enthusiasm with which men embraced “Movember”, when more than 25,000 grew moustaches to raise more than $1 million for the foundation, awareness of men’s health issues was not high in New Zealand, he said.
Though it would be good to have a national prostate screening programme, the priority should be to promote screening for men with a family history of the disease.
“If your father or uncle or brother has had it, it’s usually not a matter of if [you will get prostate cancer], it’s when. There are men who are walking time bombs and they don’t know it.”
Professor Lamb said the traditional arguments against prostate screening – that there was a high risk of false diagnosis and unnecessary treatment – were no longer valid because screening and treatment were now very advanced.
“It is also not good enough to say that prostate cancer is slow-growing and may never cause symptoms or early death.”
Professor Brett Delahunt, chairman of the institute’s scientific committee, said screening had the potential to save 200 lives each year by halving the risk of a cancer not being diagnosed till it had spread.
“As about 600 men now die annually from prostate cancer, the resultant reduction in prostate cancer mortality would be substantial.”
Professor Lamb said the institute was not yet recommending a population-based screening programme such as that for breast cancer, because the research was still to be completed.
“What we are saying is that men, particularly those aged 50 to 70, should feel able to request prostate screening from their GPs, and some men with a family history of prostate cancer should expect to be offered screening … Health authorities need to update their guidance to the community and to medical practitioners.”
John Childs, the ministry’s principal cancer adviser, said prostate cancer testing was freely available through the public health system for men who requested screening from their doctors.
But Cancer Society president Dalton Kelly said there was a lack of public awareness of prostate cancer screening.
“I would like to think all those blokes sporting moustaches for Movember were also inspired to get themselves screened but I suspect not.”
December 1, 2008: NZPA: Movember has this year fallen victim to the worldwide financial crisis, false rumours and an election raising only about a third of the money than last year. More than 12,800 moustachioed men have so far raised $590,789 – with the final figure expected to be about $700,00, co-founder Jim Slattery told NZPA. But the amount was well down from last year’s $2.1 million. READ MORE>
November 21, 2008: 3NEWS: Prostate cancer shares some surprising statistics with breast cancer. According to the latest figures collated, the incidence and mortality rates are almost identical. READ MORE>
October 1, 2008: PHARMAC PRESS RELEASE: PHARMAC is to begin funding treatments for two types of prostate disease in men – prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). From 1 October, finasteride (Fintral) will be funded for BPH, and from 1 November bicalutamide (Bicalox) will be funded for advanced prostate cancer. READ MORE>
September 29, 2008: GOVERNMENT PRESS RELEASE: New resources going out to GPs and medical practices will provide better information to help men decide if they want to be tested for prostate cancer, said Associate Minister of Health Damien O’Connor. READ MORE>
September 3, 2008: STUFF: Bite of blue sausage anyone? Cricketing legend Sir Richard Hadlee and the Wizard were cooking up a feast of blue bangers in Christchurch’s Cathedral Square yesterday to raise awareness of prostate cancer.
September 1, 2008: STUFF:Government drug buying agency Pharmac is to fund treatments for two types of prostate disease – prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).From today finasteride (Fintral) will be funded for BPH, and from November 1 bicalutamide (Bicalox) will be funded for advanced prostate cancer. READ MORE>
August 17, 2008: STUFF: An anti-cancer drug discovered in Auckland has been shown in clinical trials to significantly improve the survival rate of prostate cancer patients, a London-based drug company has announced. READ MORE>
July 23, 2008: STUFF: A new drug is giving hope to sufferers of prostate cancer. British scientists are hailing the drug abiraterone as potentially the most significant breakthrough in the field for 70 years.
July 23, 2008: TVNZ: A new drug called Abiraterone is being hailed as a potential breakthrough in the fight against prostate cancer, which kills 600 New Zealand men a year. READ MORE>
July 23, 2008: NZ HERALD: A new prostate cancer drug showing stunning results in Britain could successfully treat hundreds of New Zealand men. READ MORE>
July 18, 2008: NZ HERALD: A firm advocate of getting a personal WOF every year, Rick Martin is preparing to set off on a crusade he calls Brotherhood, a bike ride the length of New Zealand to raise awareness of the value of a simple annual check-up, including prostate cancer screening. READ MORE>
JUNE 12, 2008: EAST & BAYS COURIER: Movember is no more.
The campaign that raised money, awareness – and smiles – has shaved New Zealand from its beneficiary list because of a disagreement about how funds should be spent.
A total of $3 million has been raised for the Prostrate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand through men being sponsored to grow a moustache during November.
Prostate Cancer Foundation president Barry Young says the three-year relationship with the Australian-based Movember group officially ended last week.
“Demands by Movember to be involved in approving how and when donations might be spent in New Zealand were just not acceptable to us. Funds raised here, for New Zealanders, should not be subject to approval or demands by the Australian organisation.
“We can’t just dish out $10 bills to people in the street, we have to be sure the projects we support are genuine and well-placed. We have a responsibility to our people to spend their money wisely.
“We are in discussion with a number of great companies who have stepped forward to support our work of education, advocacy and research on behalf of the men of New Zealand. We will announce new fundraising plans soon.”
Mr Young says the campaign had been “absolutely brilliant”. He thanked those who took part and wished the Movember organisation well.
JUNE 11, 2008: STUFF: Moustache fundraiser Movember is to return, but proceeds will not go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation. Instead, money raised from the annual facial hair fundraiser will go to other men’s health initiatives, believed to include the Cancer Foundation, which ran a campaign last year highlighting male health concerns…yesterday, Movember’s organisers said despite funds no longer going to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the event would continue. READ MORE>
JUNE 9, 2008: STUFF: Mo men are bristling because the Australian organisers of “Movember” have given their Kiwi counterparts the chop after a row about control of funds raised.
Prostate Cancer Foundation president Barry Young announced yesterday the agency that could no longer take part in the annual November fundraiser because organisers had turfed it out last month.
Movember, which was first held in 2006, gave the ailing foundation a new life, raising $800,000 in its first year and $2 million last year, when 26,000 Kiwi men spent a month cultivating a moustache.
The Australia-based Movember Group, which has copyright of the event, had sought control of how the New Zealand-raised funds were spent, Mr Young said.
“We were told that unless we spent the money in a time frame approved by them, and on projects approved by them, then we would not be the beneficiary of any further Movember campaigns.”
The foundation was disappointed, but the situation was not tolerable when donations had been made in good faith to the New Zealand branch. “It is a huge blow.”
The Movember Group did not return calls last night.
Mr Young said the foundation had taken a cautious approach and spent “very little” while it investigated prostate research in New Zealand, which, unlike Australia, had little previous data.
It planned to announce a two-year Wellington research project in the coming days, but the organisers had wanted the money spent faster, Mr Young said.
May 1, 2008: STUFF: The Government has confirmed it will spend $164.2 million over the next five years on a cervical cancer immunisation programme…Prostate Cancer Foundation president Barry Young today welcomed the news but also called for more education and awareness campaigns on prostate cancer for which there was no vaccine.
He said men needed to find out if there was a history of the disease in their family and if there was should go to their doctor and get checked.
Health Minister David Cunliffe was asked today whether there would also be money for prostate cancer screening.
Mr Cunliffe said his health associate Damien O’Connor was leading a programme to develop new strategies for helping with men’s health issues and an announcement would be made about that “in due course”.
A Parliamentary committee last year rejected a call for a national prostate screening programme for men over 50 but said guidelines were needed to help men with symptoms. READ MORE>
April 15, 2008: STUFF: Buck’s back – this time in the front row of a campaign urging men to get checked for prostate cancer.
December 19, 2007: GOVT RELEASE: Associate Health Minister Damien O’Connor today welcomed the public discussion around screening for prostate cancer. The Minister was responding to recent media coverage on a review of research on prostate screening published by the recently formed Cancer Standards Institute. READ MORE>
August 18, 2007: BOP TIMES: A $2.7 million robot will be used to operate on people for the first time in New Zealand at Tauranga’s newest private hospital. READ MORE>
February 20, 2007: UNIVERSITY OF AUCKLAND RELEASE: Research at The University of Auckland suggests selenium supplements may reduce the risk of prostate cancer in men. READ MORE>
October 31, 2006: CONSUMER MAGAZINE: We report on prostate health, and why the PSA testing debate is a key issue for men. READ MORE>
June, 2006: UNIVERSITY OF OTAGO MAGAZINE: New Zealand’s Brushtail Possum (TRICHOSURUS VULPECULA) may provide the key to new treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). READ MORE>
April 15, 2006: LISTENER: Why won’t the government fund Viagra for prostate cancer survivors? READ MORE>
May 1, 2004: LISTENER: Prostate cancer kills about 550 New Zealand men a year. So, why do health officials reckon that men are better off not knowing if they have it? READ MORE>
June 19, 2002: OTAGO UNIVERSITY RELEASE: The estimated 42 to 60 million couples around the world who rely on vasectomy for contraception can find reassurance in a major New Zealand study that shows no link between the procedure and increased risk of prostate cancer. READ MORE>
February, 1993: BRIAN EASTON WEBSITE: The recent outburst over the relative importance between prostate cancer and cervical cancer has numerous aspects to it, some of which illustrate economic principles. READ MORE>