Online guide to prostate treatment decisions

Men newly diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer are being sought to test a website designed to help them better understand their treatment options.

7 July 2020

Postcard of the Navigate Prostate Cancer campaign. An elderly man is sitting down, holding a tablet and wearing a denim jacket, black cap and backpack.

The website, Navigate, is designed to help men make more informed decisions about their diagnosis by providing information about prostate cancer, treatment options, side effects, and ways to keep healthy after diagnosis.

The trial is coordinated by the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne in conjunction with Swinburne University. But while it’s being led from Melbourne, it is open to men with a recent diagnosis from anywhere in Australia and is a collaboration between medical facilities from around Australia.

Consultant urologist Professor Declan Murphy said low-risk prostate cancer often grows very slowly or not at all, yet men faced with this diagnosis reported more difficulty making a treatment decision than any other cancer clinical group.

This was largely due to the variety of management options including Active Surveillance (close monitoring) versus active treatment like radiotherapy or surgery.

‘It can be somewhat challenging for men to consider which option is best for them when confronted with a cancer diagnosis,’ Professor Murphy said.

‘We like patients to feel well informed about their options and ensure men are armed with the best knowledge.’

The website includes more than 40 videos of men, partners, oncologists, urologists, and specialist nurses who provide a range of perspectives and personal experiences.

This is a randomised trial, meaning some participants will be given access to the new Navigate website and others will access the Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia website so the tools can be compared.

The researchers are looking for men who have been diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer within the last three months, who are eligible to choose Active Surveillance, who are still deciding on their treatment options, who live in Australia, are aged over 18 and can read and write in English.

Men can register their interest (and check if they are eligible to participate) at the Navigate website. Partners are also welcome to participate.

Men and their partners interested in participating in the trial should contact Project Manager Natalie Richards on 03 8559 7453 or email navigate [at] petermac.org