Mundipharma has marked Prostate Cancer Awareness month by inviting leading urological surgeon, Associate Professor Paul Sved to share his insights from 20 years of clinical practice in the field.

Employees outside the oncology business were eager to learn more about Mundipharma’s newest therapeutic area, after the company acquired Tolmar Australia, along with exclusive Australian and New Zealand distribution rights for a prostate cancer medication in February this year.

A/Prof Sved said so much had changed since his training, including the arrival of new radiation and surgical options, robotic surgery and focal therapy.

“Some of the biggest advances have been in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer that has become resistant to hormonal therapy,” he said. “When I started practice, I had to tell these patients, ‘I’m sorry but there’s nothing more we can do for you’, which was incredibly hard to do.”

“Now we have several more treatment options for these patients including further hormonal therapy and chemotherapy. It’s rewarding to see these guys with incurable disease alive and doing well years later.”

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men in Australia with almost 20,000 diagnoses and close to 3,500 deaths each year. However, the five year survival rate of men diagnosed is 95 per cent.

A/Prof Sved said campaigns like Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and Movember were working, evidenced by spikes in new patients arriving for check-ups.

“Greater awareness, early diagnosis and newer imaging techniques have meant we’re able to offer treatment for cases that we would have missed just five or 10 years ago,” he said.

“In the old days men would come in with abnormal PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels but completely normal prostates on examination and biopsies would miss many cancers, especially those in the front of the prostate. Now MRIs are picking up these cancers.”

Mundipharma supports education related to reading MRI scans to help oncology healthcare providers deliver the best possible outcomes for their patients.

A/Prof Sved said the most important thing to know was that men should get checked every couple of years from the age of 50, or 45 with a family history.

He said it was great that patients and their families were much more informed about the disease and that this was prompting more and more people to get timely checks.

To learn more about Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and the disease itself, visit www.prostate.org.au.