Inverell Prostate Cancer Support Group reminds locals to be vigilant

A big help: Committee member Tony Grills relaxes in the lift chair. He is the first to benefit from the purchase.

A big help: Committee member Tony Grills relaxes in the lift chair. He is the first to benefit from the purchase.

As Mens Health Week approaches next week, Inverell Prostate Cancer Support Group is doing their best to improve awareness of the disease.

With the support of local organisations and clubs, the group have purchased a lift chair to help local men suffering from prostate cancer when their mobility is limited.

“Without their help we wouldn’t be able to do this sort of thing for the community,” group leader Kerry White said. He said the chair would make a difference for locals in the later stages of the disease. 

Mr White warned that prostate cancer can no longer be considered ‘an old man’s disease’, and could strike young men as well. 

He said most men should begin testing for prostate cancer from age 50, and if it runs in the family, from as young as 40. 

The most common non skin cancer among Australian men, over 20,000 are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. Over 3000 Australians die from the disease, which is the fourth leading cause of death in men. 

In the early stages there are often no symptoms. The local group said it was therefore important to talk to a doctor about regular testing.

The support group will be hosting an information session at the RSM Club auditorium this Friday night from 7.30pm. All are welcome and supper is provided.

Inspired by the Mens Health Week theme of ‘healthy body, healthy mind’, the Cancer Council NSW is encouraging prostate cancer patients and survivors in the New England to use its support services.

A new study by Cancer Council NSW has found that over 60,000 NSW men – patients and survivors – are alive today with a previous diagnosis of prostate cancer. The number has risen by about 60%, from 38,322 in 2007 to 60,910 in 2017.

“The increase is a result of Australia’s growing and ageing population, and highlights the need for providing this part of the population with the care and support that they need,” explained New England community engagement co-ordinator Paul Hobson.

Mr Hobson recommended people affected by cancer who wished to speak to a specialist cancer professional call 13 11 20, which is a confidential service for cancer patients and their friends and family.

“A lot of the prostate cancer patients and survivors who call 13 11 20 want to talk about emotional or psychological issues related to their diagnosis,” he said.

For people who prefer to speak with someone who has gone through a similar journey, Cancer Connect volunteers provide peer support to patients. The Cancer Council also offer a number of ‘survivorship’ webinars, many of which focus on men’s health.

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