New procedure protecting prostate cancer patients

Northeast Health Wangaratta has commenced a new procedure to help reduce radiation exposure to prostate cancer patients during their treatment.

The new procedure involves inserting a rectal spacer between the prostate and rectum to provide a temporary cushion to reduce the side-effects of radiation therapy.

Northeast Health Wangaratta purchased a state-of-the-art ultrasound machine and specialist biopsy equipment with the assistance of a $300,000 grant from the Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre Trust Fund in 2022.

Urological Surgeon Mr Mark Forbes said the treatment would improve patient care by keeping their treatment close to home and preventing their need to travel for Albury Wodonga or Melbourne for the procedure.

“This equipment made it possible for patients to obtain a transperineal biopsy locally and we are pleased to add this procedure to our services,” Urological Surgeon, Mr Mark Forbes said.

“This procedure provides an important alternative management adjunct to the current high volume prostate cancer surgery performed at Northeast Health Wangaratta,” Mr Forbes said.

“I’m hopeful this procedure will improve patient comfort by reducing the side effects of radiotherapy on urinary, bowel and sexual function,” Mr Forbes said.

Over 24,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in Australia every year and if detected early has very high five-year survival rates.