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Ed Sheeran

Prostate cure gap critical for Maori

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Prostate Cancer Foundation NZ is challenging disparities around the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer nationwide, especially for Maori men.

It intends to highlight the issue at its annual conference at Te Papa in Wellington next month.

Chief executive Graeme Woodside says Maori men fare poorly in survival statistics.

There are also disparities in the ways men are checked and treated, particularly in rural and remote areas, and the foundation would like to see a more streamlined approach.

Lakes DHB population health analyst Dr Barry Smith says the health system needs to generate greater awareness among Maori and Pasifika men around the condition, because Maori men often visit their GP late in the piece when treatment options are more limited.

"The fact is Maori men, while they are 25 percent less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than non-Maori men, they are twice as likely to die from the disease," he says.

Dr Smith says one way of addressing the gap is Kupe, a Health Ministry-funded website to help men decide if a prostate check is right for them.

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