First prostate cancer specialist nurse to work across south-west Sydney hospitals

A focus on prostate cancer: Diana Ngo is one of 40 prostate cancer specialist nurses across the country. Picture: supplied
A focus on prostate cancer: Diana Ngo is one of 40 prostate cancer specialist nurses across the country. Picture: supplied

For the first time, a prostate cancer specialist nurse will work across south-west Sydney hospitals including Liverpool Hospital, Campbelltown Hospital and Bankstown-Lidcombe hospitals.

Diana Ngo is one of 40 prostate cancer specialist nurses who’ve started work across public and private hospitals across Australia.

Ms Ngo is set to help break the boundaries by connecting with patients to discuss problems which may relate to prostate cancer, such as, incontinence, urination and erectile dysfunction.

As part of her specialist role, Ms Ngo will also assist in diagnosis, treatment and post-treatment.

Despite the challenges that come with her new role, she said there has been a positive response.

“I have found men are relieved to have someone they can talk to and receive important and practical information and support,’’ Ms Ngo said.

“There is little to no awkwardness in discussing things like erectile dysfunction and incontinence. In fact there is a lot which can be done and providing information and access to care and services is an important part of my role.

“My patients appreciate the opportunity to discuss their health care.’’

She shared what her role would include on a daily basis.

“I provide information from diagnosis on wards, including dealing with the effects of treatment and how to get help on any specific issues.

“I coordinate care at any part of the cancer journey.’’

According to Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian men.

And Cancer Institute NSW statistics have revealed it is also the most common cancer type in south western Sydney, which made up 16.3 per cent of all cancers from 2010 to 2014.

South-west Sydney’s latest addition comes during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, which aims to raise awareness of the disease and encourage men to talk about their health.

Ms Ngo said it’s important men don’t keep any concerns to themselves.

“Any men with concerns such as urinary problems or changes should see their GP. Don’t let embarrassment sand in your way,.

“Seeing your GP and having a simple blood test can save your life.’’

  • The prostate cancer specialist nurse position at South Western Sydney Local Health District is funded by a Commonwealth grant administered by the PCFA.
  • The NSW Government is investing $740 million into the redevelopment of Liverpool Hospital, including a new fully integrated cancer services centre.
  • Across the District, the NSW Government is spending more than $44 million on cancer services in 2018-19.