Ex-Formula One star Mark Webber believes lives will be saved in Queanbeyan due to the pilot program of an AI-driven prostate cancer diagnosis tool in his hometown.
Webber has thrown his backing behind the diagnostic platform Maxwell Plus, which uses a combination of online risk analysis using factors such as medical history as well as pathology and clinical diagnosis to detect early signs of prostate cancer.
Queanbeyan will be the first mass screening site in Australia for the program, with Webber hoping up to 13,000 eligible men will undertake the free-of-charge testing.
"Three thousand guys die a year in Australia, which is not a stat that we should be proud of, and every 25 minutes a guy's diagnosed with prostate in Australia," Webber told AAP.
"During COVID men are getting tested 30 per cent less at the moment, which is also a horrendous stat, and is something we're not happy with.
"If we can keep the screening up - it is the most straightforward, easy way ... the peace of mind will be just absolutely extraordinary."
The program has the backing of the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council and has set the goal of saving the lives of at least 200 men.
Webber himself has used the tool and believes it is a no-fuss option which any eligible man has no excuse not to try.
"It's not invasive anymore, it's not an invasive test," the 45-year-old said.
"You give a bit of blood and happy days. It's actually brilliant.
"All we can do is just continue to get men in Australia to basically, well merely man up, and just go get yourself tested because there's no better time to do it."
Queanbeyan men are being invited now to visit maxwellplus.com/qb for an online risk assessment with testing and AI analysis to follow if required.
Australian Associated Press
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