PROSTATE cancer patients in the northern suburbs have never had access to a nurse who specialises in the disease – until now.
Julie Sykes is one of just 46 prostate cancer care specialist nurses in AustraliaShe plays a key role at the Prostate Cancer Centre, that has opened at Shenton House.
The service is free for patients if they live in the cities of Wanneroo and Joondalup or are receiving treatment at Shenton House.
Ms Sykes said she worked with patients from the moment of diagnosis to ensure they understood their treatment options and the plan that was to follow.
“Being diagnosed with prostate cancer can be a devastating blow to men and their families,” she said.
“Understanding the diagnosis, treatment options and processes can also be difficult to navigate.”
Clarkson resident Peter Garland, who has prostate cancer, understands the difficulty of receiving a diagnosis and having unanswered questions.
He said it was like he had been “hit by a lightning bolt” when he was told he had cancer.
“Had a specialist nurse been available at the time of my diagnosis, it would have made things a lot easier as there were so many questions and concerns running through my mind,” he said.
The care centre is run as part of a collaboration between GenesisCare and Perth Radiological Clinic.
GenesisCare medical director Raphael Chee said the service brought together specialists from multiple disciplines.
“When a man is referred to the Prostate Care Centre, he may physically be seen by one or two consultants but, in most cases, his condition will also be discussed at a multi-disciplinary meeting where the entire prostate specialist medical team is present,” he said.