Men on the Central Coast with prostate cancer now have a specialist nurse solely dedicated to helping them and their families.
One of only 45 Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurses in Australia, registered nurse Suzie Sedevic recently started in the new role based at the Central Coast Cancer Centre, Gosford Hospital.
Funded by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, the aim of the role is to guide patients along their treatment pathways to ensure they have access to available services and expertise.
“I am here to help men with prostate cancer right from the moment of diagnosis through to their treatment and beyond,” Suzie said.
“It is about providing patients with a one-on-one, ongoing point of contact to connect them with health professionals and services; coordinating their care; and being a reliable source of information.”
With prostate cancer being the most common type of cancer on the Central Coast*, Suzie’s services are likely to be in high demand.
“Everyone I have encountered both patients and families have been extremely welcoming of the new role and excited to have a nurse of their own,” she said.
One of those patients is Neale Sydenham, from Woongarrah, who is coming to the end of his eight-week treatment plan.
“Men tend to think we are bullet proof and it (cancer) won’t happen to me so when I was diagnosed it was a total shock,” he said.
Suzie said a cancer diagnosis can be devastating and some men find it difficult to talk about.
“Men can struggle to share their feelings or admit they need help so it is really important for me to build up that trust and rapport,” she said.
“Navigating the medical system on your own can be really difficult.
“So I hope I can make a real difference in their lives and help them tackle the disease.”
Senior Communications Officer
Central Coast Local Health District
*Cancer statistics NSW: https://www.cancerinstitute.org.au/cancer-statistics-nsw#/