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Let sleeping dogs lie? What men should know before getting tested for
prostate cancer Let sleeping dogs lie? What men should know before getting tested for prostate cancer
Simon Chapman, Alexandra Barratt and Martin Stockler
Sydney University Press
ISBN: 9781920899684

Few issues have been as divisive as prostate cancer screening. While some prominent Australian urologists are very active in talking up the importance of prostate cancer screening, few Australians would be aware that no government anywhere in the world has a formal policy supporting prostate cancer screening. Nor would they be aware that aside from some professional urological societies, no reputable cancer control or expert prevention agency anywhere in the world currently recommends screening for the disease.

Despite this international expert consensus, de facto screening of populations is well under way, being driven by well-meaning advice about the importance of men becoming more informed about their health.

Medical science is today unable to predict with any precision which early discovered prostate cancers will turn out to be those that kill, and particularly which will kill men in middle age. The frontline diagnostic tool in efforts to screen for prostate cancer – the PSA test – is a tool which has very poor ability to find problematic cancers. It finds many benign cancers which could have been left alone.

The aim of the book is to provide a detailed examination of the main questions that a man should be asking before deciding to get tested for prostate cancer. It will help men to make informed decisions that best fit their circumstances and temperament. Let Sleeping dogs Lie? is a ‘must read’ for all men who care about their health, and those who support them.

This book is available open access.

A free PDF version of the book can be downloaded here

For more information and updates see Prostate Cancer Testing Facts for Men.

About the authors

Simon Chapman is emiritus professor of public health at the University of Sydney. He has served on the board of Cancer Australia; served for 10 years a director of the Cancer Council NSW; and for 20 years on the board of the Australian Consumers Association, publishers of Choice. He has won multiple awards for his international advocacy for tobacco control.

Alexandra Barratt is associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Sydney. She investigates ways to help people make more informed choices about their health care, including decisions about screening for breast and prostate cancer. She won two Eureka prizes (2006, 2007) for radio programs on cancer screening and evidence-based medicine.

Martin Stockler is associate professor of cancer medicine and clinical epidemiology, and co-director of oncology at the National Health and Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Centre at the University of Sydney. He is a consultant medical oncologist at the Sydney Cancer Centre, Royal Prince Alfred and Concord Repatriation General Hospitals, specialising in cancers of the prostate, bladder, kidney and testis.

What readers say

“I would like to express my thanks and appreciation for your writing Let Sleeping Dogs Lie. I am one of its target audience (aged 69). I have found the book extremely useful. It is jargon-free, easy to read, clear, fair, very well illustrated and, above all, hard-nosed with its analyses. Having been on the receiving end to date of two DREs and several PSA tests (all ‘negative’). I now feel as informed as I can currently be about not having any more of either – especially at my age.”
—Andrew from Perth


“As a GP who finds counselling re prostate cancer testing one of my most time consuming and challenging jobs, I have found your book a godsend.”
—Dr V Speck, Victoria

More by this author

cover image of Smoke signals book

Smoke Signals: Selected Writing
Smoke Signals gathers 71 of Professor Simon Chapman’s authoritative, acerbic and often heretical essays written across his 40-year career, on topics such as tobacco control, cancer screening, and public health ethics.

cover image of Over our dead bodies book

Over Our Dead Bodies: Port Arthur and Australia’s Fight for Gun Control
The Port Arthur massacre in 1996 transformed Australia’s gun control debate, but law reform is not inevitable. It requires the planned, strategic use of media and advocacy to convert anger into action. This book – the story of the campaign for gun control – is a practical guide to achieving humane social change.


cover image of Removing the emperor's clothes book

Removing the Emperor’s clothes: Australia and Tobacco Plain Packaging
In December 2012, Australia became the first nation in the world to require all tobacco products to be sold in standard ‘plain’ packs. Simon Chapman and Becky Freeman set out the evidence for the importance of plain packaging in striking at the heart of what remains of tobacco advertising.


cover image of Wind turbine syndrome book

Coming in 2017: Wind turbine syndrome: a communicated disease
In a forthcoming title, Simon Chapman takes on so-called Wind Turbine Syndrome. It will be a critical account of the rise of the anti-wind farm movement, including a detailed examination of the evidence for nocebo/psychogenic effects and the strategies used by anti-wind farm interests. If you would like to be notified when this title is released, please email us now.


Permanent link to this page: http://purl.library.usyd.edu.au/sup/9781920899684

Paperback: A$25.00

Over our dead bodies: Port Arthur and Australia's fight for gun control Over our dead bodies: Port Arthur and Australia's fight for gun control
Simon Chapman
Sydney University Press
ISBN: 9781743320310

The Port Arthur massacre on 28 April 1996, when 35 people were shot dead by Martin Bryant, transformed Australia's gun control debate. Public outrage drove politicians from all sides of politics to embrace gun control. Non-violent 'people power' galvanised government resolve to outlaw semi-automatic weapons, register all guns and tighten gun ownership laws.

Simon Chapman's book gives an insider's view of the struggle for gun control, highlighting the public discourse between shooters determined to preserve the right for civilians to bear military-style weapons, and activists dedicated to getting Australia 'off the American path' of gun violence.

Law reform is not inevitable. It requires the planned, strategic use of media and advocacy to convert anger into action. The story of the campaign for gun control is a practical guide to achieving humane social change for activists everywhere.

With the recent mass shooting at a primary school in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, which has stimulated an unprecedented momentum for meaningful gun controls in the US, the lessons of Port Arthur should be revisited.

Simon Chapman is professor of public health at the University of Sydney. He has won multiple awards for his national and international advocacy for tobacco control.

This book is available open access.

A free PDF version of the book can be downloaded here

Paperback: A$22.00

Removing the emperor's clothes: Australia and tobacco plain packaging Removing the emperor's clothes: Australia and tobacco plain packaging
Simon Chapman and Becky Freeman
Sydney University Press
ISBN: 9781743323977

In December 2012, Australia became the first nation in the world to require all tobacco products to be sold in standard 'plain' packs under the leadership of the then Health Minister Nicola Roxon. Tobacco companies have had global apoplexy about the law. Humiliated in the Australian High Court with a 6-1 defeat, their hopes now rest with deterring other nations from following suit by pursuing international trade law action.

With a combined 50 years of research and advocacy experience in tobacco control, Simon Chapman and Becky Freeman set out the evidence for the importance of plain packaging in striking at the heart of what remains of tobacco advertising. They examine the history of the idea, the tobacco industry's frantic efforts to derail it, and the early evidence for its impact. Most importantly, they give tools to policy makers in other countries wanting to make the best case for plain packaging and to defend it from the inevitable attacks that will follow.

At its simplest, the story is one of the public good against commercial evil - governments and health authorities introducing an evidence-based measure in the face of ferocious opposition from a lethal and discredited, but still powerful industry. But the story has much more than this. It has heroes and villains, political chicanery, legal cases in the High Court and international tribunals, global companies promoting their claims through front groups, research versus junk science ... smear campaigns, shadowy lobbyists, battles for media hearts and headlines, and dire warnings about Chinese criminal gangs.
From the Foreword by Professor Mike Daube AO

This book is available open access.

A free PDF version of the book can be downloaded here

About the authors

Simon Chapman AO is professor of public health at the University of Sydney. He was deputy editor, then editor of Tobacco Control for 17 years and in 2003 won the American Cancer Society's Luther Terry Medal for outstanding leadership in global tobacco control.

Dr Becky Freeman is a lecturer in public health at the University of Sydney. Since 2000, she has worked in tobacco control in Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

Paperback: A$30.00

Smoke Signals: Selected Writing Smoke Signals: Selected Writing
Simon Chapman
Darlington Press
ISBN: 9781921364594

Smoke Signals gathers 71 of Professor Simon Chapman’s authoritative, acerbic and often heretical essays written in newspapers, blogs and research journals across his 40-year career. They cover major developments and debates in tobacco control, public health ethics, cancer screening, gun control and panics about low risk agents like wi-fi, mobile phone towers and wind turbines. This collection is an essential guide to many key debates in contemporary public health. It will be invaluable to public health students and practitioners, while remaining compelling reading for all interested in health policy.


“When is Simon Chapman, the academic, intellectual, self-appointed chief wowser of the nanny state, gunna leave us alone?”
Steve Price, Australian radio broadcaster, 2008


“His insane wibblings are worrying yes, but still bloody funny to read.“
Dick Puddlecote, English blogger


This book is available open access.

A free PDF version of the book can be downloaded here

Digital editions

Digital editions of Smoke Signals are now available for purchase through Google Play and the iBookstore. Click the below links to download the appropriate ebook format for your device. To request another format, please email us.

About the author

Simon Chapman AO is emeritus professor in public health at the University of Sydney. He has won the World Health Organization’s medal for tobacco control (1998), the American Cancer Society’s Luther Terry Award for outstanding individual leadership in tobacco control (2003), and was the NSW Premier’s Cancer Researcher of the Year (2008). In 2013 he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia for his contributions to public health and named 2013 Australian Skeptic of the Year. In 2014, the Australian right-wing think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs, named him as one of Australia’s Dirty Dozen all-time “opponents of freedom”.

Other titles from Simon Chapman

Simon Chapman AO has written several books published by Sydney University Press and Darlington Press in the last 10 years. Several of these are also available open access, and may be downloaded for free online.

cover image of Over our dead bodies book

Over our dead bodies: Port Arthur and Australia’s fight for gun control
The Port Arthur massacre in 1996 transformed Australia’s gun control debate, but law reform is not inevitable. It requires the planned, strategic use of media and advocacy to convert anger into action. This book – the story of the campaign for gun control – is a practical guide to achieving humane social change.


cover image of Let sleeping dogs lie book

Let sleeping dogs lie? What men should know before getting tested for prostate cancer
Medicine is today still unable to predict with precision which early-discovered prostate cancers will turn out to be those that kill. This book aims to provide a detailed examination of the main questions that a man should ask before being tested, in order to make better informed decisions.


cover image of Removing the emperor's clothes book

Removing the emperor’s clothes: Australia and tobacco plain packaging
In December 2012, Australia became the first nation in the world to require all tobacco products to be sold in standard ‘plain’ packs. Simon Chapman and Becky Freeman set out the evidence for the importance of plain packaging in striking at the heart of what remains of tobacco advertising.


cover image of Wind turbine syndrome book

Coming in 2017: Wind turbine syndrome: a communicated disease
In a forthcoming title, Simon Chapman takes on so-called Wind Turbine Syndrome. It will be a critical account of the rise of the anti-wind farm movement, including a detailed examination of the evidence for nocebo/psychogenic effects and the strategies used by anti-wind farm interests. If you would like to be notified when this title is released, please email us now.


Permanent link to this page: http://purl.library.usyd.edu.au/sup/smokesignals.

Paperback: A$40.00

Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Communicated Disease Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Communicated Disease
Simon Chapman and Fiona Crichton
Sydney University Press
ISBN: 9781743324967

Coming in December

The introduction of new technology has a long history of being accompanied by beliefs that take root among small proportions of the population who believe that rapidly proliferating inventions are silently eroding people's health. People's lives can be significantly adversely impacted when they become preoccupied by erroneous beliefs. But when such personal irrationalities become championed by those in power like politicians and sections of the news media, it is not just the irrational whose lives can be affected. If those opposed to wind energy were to succeed in greatly inhibiting the roll out of wind farms in Australia and the handful of other nations where wind farm opposition has occurred, the speed with which we could meet climate change amelioration targets could be greatly compromised.

The book's main focus is on the claims that wind turbines are the direct cause of illness in some of those exposed to them.


About the authors

Simon Chapman is professor emeritus of public health at the University of Sydney.

Fiona Crichton recently completed her PhD in psychological medicine at the University of Auckland.


Permanent link to this page: http://purl.library.usyd.edu.au/sup/9781743324967.

Paperback: A$40.00