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Media Release

Clinical prostate test guidelines receive GP college endorsement

May 10, 2016

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) and Cancer Council Australia have welcomed the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners’ formal endorsement of their clinical guidelines for PSA testing and early management of test-detected prostate cancer.

The guidelines were published in January following the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) approving the guidelines’ recommendations.

RACGP is the latest medical college to endorse the guidelines, which provide health professionals with evidence-based recommendations for using the prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test to assess prostate cancer risk and manage test-detected patients. The guidelines have also received formal endorsement from the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand, the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, the Faculty of Radiation Oncology (the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.

According to Associate Professor Anthony Lowe, Chief Executive Officer of PCFA, receiving support from the RACGP will help to ensure that when a man requests a PSA test, Australian GPs use the test in line with the guideline’s recommendations.

“We are delighted to have the RACGP recognises the importance of the guidelines for clinical practice. This will hopefully help us gain consistency on how the PSA blood test is used to assess Australian men’s risk of prostate cancer,” said Associate Professor Lowe.

“By having the support of GPs, urologists, radiation oncologists and pathologists we will continue to improve the process by which men undergo testing to maximise the benefits and minimise the harms of the PSA test.”

Cancer Council Australia CEO, Professor Sanchia Aranda, said the vast majority of practising Australian GPs were RACGP members and that the college’s endorsement would help to disseminate the guidelines.

“The guidelines were developed through a rigorous process involving experts from all clinical disciplines that participate in the clinical management of test-detected prostate cancer patients,” Professor Aranda said.

“The endorsement of the guidelines by relevant professional colleges reflects that process. GPs are a particularly important professional group, so we welcome the RACGP’s formal endorsement of the guidelines.

“The use of the guidelines will hopefully lead to the reduction of unnecessary testing and over-treatment of prostate cancer, especially in men with early-stage cancer.”

PCFA and Cancer Council Australia worked in partnership to develop the guidelines. Both organisations will soon launch a decision aid to assist GP-patient discussions about whether to undertake regular PSA testing.

PSA Testing and Early Management of Test-detected Prostate Cancer: A guideline for health professional is now available for download at www.pcfa.org.au and http://wiki.cancer.org.au/australia/Guidelines:PSA_Testing

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