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Alberta government increasing access to prostate cancer care



Alberta government increasing access to prostate cancer care

According to the government, expanding access to these clinical trials will unlock the benefits of better diagnosis and treatment planning to improve care outcomes for those with prostate cancer and reduce unnecessary scans and surgeries, allowing approximately 2,000 Albertans access to the clinical trials annually.

“Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths among men in Alberta,” says Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Health. “This investment will support a special kind of clinical trial to increase access to a technology that’s already proven to improve diagnosis and staging accuracy for prostate cancer patients and patients with recurring cancer who require follow-up care. This Men’s Health Week, I’d like to remind Albertans that early detection of prostate cancer saves lives, and I encourage every Albertan to raise awareness of men’s health issues.”

Provincial officials say medical professionals currently rely on CT and bone scans to diagnose and stage prostate cancer. Oncologists and nuclear radiologists consider PSMA PET/CT scans to be more effective for staging high-risk and recurrent prostate cancers, leading to more accurate diagnoses and more informed treatment decisions, says the government.

This funding is expected to support access to PSMA PET/CT scans at the Cross Cancer Institute and Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton and the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary.

“The Alberta Cancer Foundation is thrilled to support expanding access to PSMA PET trials in Alberta,” says Wendy Beauchesne, chief executive officer, Alberta Cancer Foundation. “We are making incredible progress on diagnosing and treating prostate cancer, and this trial is an important step in continuing to improve long-term survivability rates. Our donors want us to work more closely with key stakeholders and unite our efforts to make life better for Albertans facing a cancer diagnosis. This co-investment is a testament to the power of partnership.”

“PSMA PET scans improve our ability to diagnosis advanced prostate cancer and provide patients with a new and important treatment option; and for that, we are beyond thankful to our government and Alberta Cancer Foundation partners for their continued financial support,” adds Dean Ruether, senior medical director, Cancer Care Alberta, Alberta Health Services.

Alberta government quick facts

  • PET/CT scans use radioactive tracers that detect PSMA, a protein that is found in large amounts on prostate cancer cells and is used to detect prostate cancer throughout the body.
  • The risk of getting prostate cancer starts to rise at about age 40.
  • One in 30 Albertans who are diagnosed with prostate cancer will not survive.
  • About five per cent of prostate cancers are preventable.

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