Port Augusta Hospital set to get machine to help detect prostate cancer

CHEQUE PLEASE: Whyalla Prostate Cancer Support Group convenor Terry O'Brien, right, receives the donation from Trevor Armstrong of Whyalla Masonic Lodge. Photo: supplied.

CHEQUE PLEASE: Whyalla Prostate Cancer Support Group convenor Terry O'Brien, right, receives the donation from Trevor Armstrong of Whyalla Masonic Lodge. Photo: supplied.

Men in the Upper Spencer Gulf are one step closer to early prostate cancer detection following a donation to a local support group.

Masonic Charities, part of Freemasons of SA and NT, put $5000 towards the Whyalla Prostate Cancer Support Group's efforts to purchase a $90,000 transperineal biopsy machine for the Port Augusta Hospital.

Whyalla PCSG convener Terry O'Brien said he was delighted by the donation.

"This donation will now allow us to purchase a biopsy machine which should be operational later this year," Mr O'Brien said.

"It will improve the health outcomes for men in the region."

According to Masonic Charities, prostate biopsies have not been routinely performed in the area due to risks associated with clinicians needing to perform an alternative transrectal procedure.

It said in a statement that patients were normally sent to Adelaide instead, but the new machine will allow doctors to safely take samples and tell the difference between cancer and an enlarged prostate.

Freemasons of SA and NT grandmaster David Brooker said he hoped having the machine in the Upper Spencer Gulf would reduce the number of men being diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.

"It is important that men are diagnosed at an earlier stage of the disease and don't miss out on a critical window to treat the cancer before it spreads," he said.

"Each year, more than 18,000 Australian men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and over 3300 men lose their lives to the disease.

"Local men can be treated close to their homes and families instead of travelling to Adelaide."

The machine will be installed at the Port Augusta Hospital and will be operated by a qualified visiting urologist.