Big cause has big aims


FUNDS from a No-Reserve Charity Auction will be earmarked for a special prostate cancer scanner attached to Cairns Hospital.
Cairns Hospital urologist Dr Stefan Antoniou said the prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) generator, could be used for diagnosis, staging and monitoring of prostate cancer. The PSMA generator would be an addition to the recently acquired PET scanner at Cairns Hospital.
“Currently for Far North patients to have this scan, they have to travel to the private facility in Townsville and pay $700, or to the public facility in Brisbane,” Dr Antoniou said.
“At the moment we send up to four patients a week away for this scan, but if we had it here, it would be more widely utilised,” he said. “It will save the health service money and allow for the same quality of care for North Queenslanders, as our southern counterparts receive. When someone has a prostate cancer diagnosis it's very stressful, so to have to go away just for a scan adds unnecessary stress into their lives. Our goal is to have the same facilities afforded to patients in Brisbane available in Cairns.”
Patient Alan Searle was diagnosed with prostate cancer four months ago, after his PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels rose suddenly. The 66-year-old had to travel to Brisbane for the special prostate scan prior to having his prostate surgically removed by local Cairns Urologists Dr Antoniou and Dr Phil Smith.
Rachel and James Fennell from Urban Properties approached the Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation with the innovative fundraising idea, that they hoped to put towards men's cancers. Mr Fennell hopes the Foundation will receive a donation of at least $20,000 from the auction planned for the 800sq m block, Lot 55 at Millhouse Estate, Saturday, May 14. Property Shop sales and marketing director Ben Johnston said in addition, he would donate his $5000 commission from the transaction.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation chairman Dr Ken Chapman said he was thrilled that the companies had recognised the importance of making a difference to local health care.
•    The auction will be held from 9.30am on Saturday, May 14 on site at Lot 55, Millhouse Estate. Pre-registrations to bid are encouraged at
For further information, to donate or volunteer for the Foundation visit Millhouse Estate.

Photo: Urologist Dr Stefan Antoniou speaks with prostate patient Alan Searle about the benefits of fundraising towards improved patient care.

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