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WA’s North West has second-worst rate of advanced prostate cancer diagnoses in Australia

Cain AndrewsBroome Advertiser
Thousands of men across the country will benefit from a new subsidy for prostate cancer drug Nubeqa.
Camera IconThousands of men across the country will benefit from a new subsidy for prostate cancer drug Nubeqa. Credit: Supplied

It has been revealed WA’s North West has the second highest rate of advanced prostate cancer in the country — second only to the Northern Territory.

According to a new analysis from the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, the rate of men being diagnosed with prostate cancer that has already spread to other parts of the body in the Kimberley was 142 per cent higher than the national average.

It was second only to outback Northern Territory which had a rate 175 per cent higher than the national average.

A map of surbuban and regional hotspots for advanced prostate cancer in 2023.
Camera IconA map of surbuban and regional hotspots for advanced prostate cancer in 2023. Credit: Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia

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The Federal Government has announced a subsidy for late-stage prostate cancer patients to access an effective cancer fighting drug, Nubeqa, also known as darolutamide.

PCFA chief executive Anne Savage welcomed the new subsidy, which she said would help thousands of men across the country.

“Every year nearly 4000 Australian men will be diagnosed with incurable Stage 3 or 4 prostate cancers,” she said.

“The listing of medicines such as Nubeqa for more men is an important development for thousands of Australian fathers and sons.

“We are tremendously grateful to Health Minister Mark Butler for supporting men and families in our community with this new listing.

“However, we need to continue raising awareness so that all Australian men get a fair chance of detecting prostate cancer early, so that we can beat it.”

The drug will form part of a three-pronged attack for people with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer — cancer that has spread beyond the prostate to organs such as the lymph nodes, bones, lungs and liver.

Nubeqa will be used in conjunction with androgen deprivation therapy and chemotherapy.

Nubeqa works by starving cancer cells of the hormones they need to grow and divide, while androgen deprivation therapy blocks production of the cancer-stimulating hormones, and chemotherapy works to destroy cancer cells.

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