Paddy O’Rourke’s Story – Advanced prostate cancer

Thank you to Mr Paddy O’Rourke for allowing the University of Adelaide’s marketing team to capture on video the candid narrative of his experience with prostate cancer for the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health.

Paddy is a consumer advisor for the Centre’s prostate cancer basic science research program based at the Adelaide Prostate Cancer Research Centre at the University of Adelaide, and knows too well the importance of research to better understand the causes of this disease and how best to treat it.  

Over the last 20 years advances in prostate cancer detection, through a successful screening program and better therapies have reduced mortality by 31% and therefore most men now live with the disease rather than die of the disease. However, for those men whose disease progresses, treatment options remain limited. 

As part of a global research collaboration, funded through the United States Department of Defense, the Centre’s prostate cancer program, lead by Professor Wayne Tilley, is now embarking on an ambitious program to develop the next generation of drugs which is hoped to combat drug resistance which ultimately leads to advanced, or metastatic, disease.  

Paddy was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2009, and in his video he describes both the psychological and physical burden of the disease and its treatment. With this, he also highlights the need for better support for men and their families.

Research funding is also being sought by the Centre to support a research team to look at lifestyle and other risk factors for prostate cancer and men’s response to treatment.  This program of research working with Urologist, Associate Professor Kim Moretti, will take advantage of large data sets on men’s health and prostate cancer outcomes which will be combined to answer important questions.  

The full 8-minutes version of Paddy’s story was broadcast at the Centre’s Men’s Health Public Seminar on Prostate Cancer on February 17, setting the scene for some important discussions, to be profiled in a separte blog.

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