Impact of Australian celebrity diagnoses on prostate cancer screening

David P Smith, Mark S Clements, Melanie A Wakefield and Simon Chapman
Med J Aust 2009; 191 (10): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2009.tb03320.x
Published online: 16 November 2009

To the Editor: In 2008, considerable publicity was given to the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer in two Australian celebrities: retired Australian Football League player Sam Newman and radio announcer Alan Jones. Newman’s cancer was reported on 5–9 March 2008, culminating in a 12-minute item on the high-rating Australian television program 60 Minutes, when Newman said, “Be tested and enjoy life”. Jones’s announcement of his forthcoming surgery was reported on 3–4 July 2008, and his recovery on 16–27 July. We investigated whether this publicity was associated with changes in the rate of prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing.

  • David P Smith1
  • Mark S Clements2
  • Melanie A Wakefield3
  • Simon Chapman4

  • 1 Cancer Epidemiology Research Unit, Cancer Council NSW, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 Australian National University, Canberra ACT.
  • 3 Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, Cancer Council Victoria, Melbourne VIC.
  • 4 University of Sydney, Sydney NSW.



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