Prostate cancer nurse Sonia Strachan honoured with award at conference

By Tara Whitsed

Goulburn Valley Health prostate cancer nurse Sonia Strachan took out Best Nursing Paper Presented at a recent urology conference in Brisbane.

Ms Strachan said she presented a paper at the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand’s annual scientific meeting regarding a working group they had implemented at GV Health, which detailed the management of administering a hormone therapy to treat prostate cancer.

The Androgen Deprivation Therapy, according to Ms Strachan, was known for its clinical benefits, but there were considerable side affects that came with undergoing ADT.

The working group was established early last year to determine a care plan for those taking the treatment.

Ms Strachan said the award not only recognised her work, but the work of the group and Shepparton in general.

‘‘It’s fantastic that it puts Shepparton in the spotlight; that’s the really nice thing I think,’’ she said.

She said the award was just as much for the community that had funded her role of prostate cancer nurse through the annual Biggest Ever Blokes Lunch in Shepparton.

‘‘If someone said to me six years ago that I would be a prostate cancer nurse presenting this paper I wouldn’t have believed them,’’ Ms Strachan said.

‘‘So it’s really nice to show them what we can achieve in a regional setting.’’

Ms Strachan said the eight members of the working group were successful in determining guidelines for the management and monitoring of the side effects from taking ADT.

‘‘It was a real team effort to put the plan together,’’ she said.

‘‘What this care plan is doing is giving better care to our men.’’

Ms Strachan said it was a total surprise when she took out the award out of Australian and New Zealand nurses who presented at the Brisbane-based conference from April 13 to 16.