18 Jan 2014

GP says prostate cancer leaflets 'unbalanced'

5:15 pm on 18 January 2014

A general practitioner says new Ministry of Health prostate cancer leaflets are unbalanced and don't inform men about the risks of treating the disease.

The brochures encourage middle aged men to talk to their doctors about prostate cancer.

The leaflets say checking for the disease usually involves a PSA test, which is a type of blood test.

GP Jim Vause says it can lead to the invasive treatment of non-life threatening cancer. He says that treatment also leaves many men impotent and with incontinence problems.

Dr Vause says the leaflet doesn't mention those facts.

But chairperson of the Government taskforce on prostate cancer, John Nacey, says the leaflet was only designed to get men thinking about getting tested, and any potential harm from treatment would be brought up further down the track.

He says if prostate cancer is discovered in its early stages, men are given the choice of having it treated or continuing regular check-ups.