Skip to main content RSS Info Close Search
Feedback

Three people, 20 years of work: prostate cancer treatment in Queensland

<p>2015 Order of Australia Medal [OAM] recipient and Queensland Australian of the Year nominee, Ken, continued his community efforts after a prostate cancer diagnosis in 2008. [Image: supplied]</p>

2015 Order of Australia Medal [OAM] recipient and Queensland Australian of the Year nominee, Ken, continued his community efforts after a prostate cancer diagnosis in 2008. [Image: supplied]

Key points:

  • The early adoption of low-dose-rate [LDR]-brachytherapy was pioneered by a three-person clinical team at Greenslopes Private Hospital, who continue to serve the hospital’s prostate cancer community today
  • The targeted, minimally invasive prostate cancer treatment — LDR-brachytherapy — was introduced to the Hospital two decades ago
  • Radiation Oncologist, Associate Professor Kumar Gogna; Consultant Urologist, Dr Glen Wood; and Medical Physicist, Mr Adrian Gibbs, Brisbane have expanded the treatment options available for people with prostate cancer
  • Prostate cancer is Australia’s most commonly diagnosed men’s cancer, with more than 24,000 men diagnosed each year

Over 20 years of ground-breaking work have not stopped the original team of three-clinicians at Greenslopes Private Hospital from providing low-dose-rate to eligible Queenslanders with prostate cancer.

LDR-brachytherapy involves the insertion of radioactive ‘seeds’ into the prostate, allowing the radiation to target cancer cells, while minimising damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.

Ken Hurling, Order of Australia Medal recipient, now aged 76, underwent LDR-brachytherapy in Brisbane at Greenslopes Private Hospital 15 years ago. This year, he is joining the 95 percent of patients who remain disease-free, 15 years post-treatment.

“My general practitioner [GP] called me in 2008 and asked me to come in and see him after having a blood test. When he told me I was living with prostate cancer, I was shocked because I had no symptoms. I was in decent shape at the time, and was cycling 300 kilometres per week, and sailing. So, it was hard to accept that, despite my good health, I wasn’t bulletproof,” said Ken.

“I’ve had great support from my family, but most importantly, I’ve been able to watch my beautiful granddaughter grow up. I look forward to seeing her graduate from university one day, and to [sic] becoming a rock star,” he added.

As a motivated member of the community and an advocate for prostate cancer awareness, Ken urged Australian men over the age of 35 to undergo an annual GP health check.

“I like to dedicate just one day each year to managing my health. I have a blood test, cholesterol check, and a skin examination with my GP,” said Ken.

“Apart from my current role of Chair of Oceania for the International Laser Class Association, I am the past President of Yachting Queensland, past President of Grafton Meals on Wheels and was a member of Grafton Rotary for 23 years.”

A/Prof Kumar Gogna said the team is proud to continue supporting Queenslanders in need and sharing knowledge with colleagues about the important treatment, along with mentoring other clinicians in Townsville, Singapore, and Wollongong to set up the LDR-brachytherapy program at their respective institutions.”

“Nowadays, we remain as equally committed to providing the best possible care and support, including proven, world-class treatments, to our patients living with prostate cancer, and other urological conditions,” said A/Prof Gogna.

In 2019, A/Prof Gogna received the RANZCR Denise Lonergan Educational Service Award for his exceptional commitment, leadership, and participation in training and education in Radiation Oncology.

Early detection of prostate cancer broadens the available treatment options for patients, helping to improve outcomes, and reduce potential side-effects.

Share this article

Comments

Read next

Subscribe to our Talking Aged Care newsletter to get our latest articles, delivered straight to your inbox
  1. Fueling your body with healthy foods as you age could help...
  2. If you believe you have reached a point of it being too unsafe...
  3. Many Australians are aware of dangers related to extreme heat,...
  4. A new study published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia:...
  5. Our furry friends are more than just pets. They are cherished...
  6. The Department of Health and Aged Care will address the...

Recent articles

  1. After 10 years of distressed phone calls, the tech-xperts...
  2. What can health professionals learn from the clock-drawing...
  3. New research has revealed that talking through painful...
  4. As providers grow concerned about the new Aged Care Act...
  5. How many teeth should you have at your age and are dentures...
  6. What is a diversional therapist and what role to they play in...
  7. Fueling your body with healthy foods as you age could help...
  8. If you believe you have reached a point of it being too unsafe...
  9. Planning during retirement could help ensure you can afford...
  10. How important is palliative care and how can access be...
  11. How will older Australians benefit from funding allocations...