The PCI is in an unrivalled position to offer the most comprehensive and sophisticated range of treatment options available in Australia to men for the management of prostate cancer. Each man's situation is dealt with on an individual basis by a dedicated team of medical specialists and other holistic healthcare providers. This is a unique model of care for men with prostate cancer in Australia today.

Despite the frequent diagnosis in men of prostate cancer, the availability of early detection methods (similar to mammography in women with breast cancer) and the availability of increasingly sophisticated treatment techniques, neither Australia nor NSW has developed a single fully-integrated centre or model of care to improve the outcome for patients with prostate cancer.

The Prostate Cancer Institute has now been formed to overcome this major shortfall. It provides every alternative treatment to prostate cancer sufferers. It also assists men and health professionals have a balanced understanding of the incidence of, and risk factors for, prostate cancer.

The state-of-the-art therapy and treatment options available are:

•  Nerve sparing radical prostatectomy

•  External beam radiotherapy

•  Radioactive seed brachytherapy

•  High-dose-rate brachytherapy

•  Prostatic cryotherapy (freezing gland)

•  Hormonal therapy

•  Chemotherapy

•  Radioactive intravenous Strontium

Appropriate treatment for men with prostate cancer is administered in a setting that emphasises the team approach of the PCI and is heavily underpinned by patient education, psychosocial support, genetic counselling and targeted research programs.

Treatment is also available for some of the most common side effects of treatment, including impotence, urinary incontinence, bowel irritation, hot flushes and osteoporosis.

The PCI will work alongside Interstate and International organisations in order to assist in the development, dissemination and the adoption of best practice guidelines in the management of prostate cancer.

The PCI will provide mechanisms for sharing information about prostate cancer control throughout NSW. One aim is to disseminate information and expertise about the PCI model of care to other major centres in NSW and beyond via our recently established Internet website.

The Institute will also explore the use of new information technologies to reach rural /remote patients and healthcare providers in order to offer patients in rural Australia the same benefits as those available to city patients. We have already developed important clinical links with the urology cancer team at the Wollongong Hospital; furthermore, PCI urologist Dr David Malouf has already commenced outreach services at Nowra.

The PCI is also co-ordinating and developing clinical trial research and laboratory-based research into prostate cancer and its management.