Recently, my team and I had the opportunity to attend the Cancer Council Qld Redland Volunteer Branch’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Month Breakfast Fundraiser held at the Cleveland RSL.
We had three very interesting speakers who shared their own perspective on prostate cancer and provided information on early detection and treatment options.
The statistics of prostate cancer are certainly alarming!
- Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australia.
- Queensland has the 3rd highest incidence of prostate cancer in the world.
- 1 in 5 Queensland men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
- In 2022 more than 24,500 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer.
- In 2022 prostate cancer (needlessly) claimed more than 3,610 lives in Australia.
- There are usually no symptoms in the early curable stages.
- If detected early enough prostate cancer is almost 100% survivable.
- Men who live regionally have a 27% higher mortality rate then metropolitan men.
- Having a mother with breast cancer increases the risk of prostate cancer by 21%.
- If the mother carries the BRCA1 & 2 gene, the son/s has an increase risk of prostate cancer, they tend to get it younger, and it tends to be more aggressive.
- An annual routine check is the best way to protect yourself.
Our first speaker was A/Prof Kumar Gogna, one of the founding directors of the Radiation Oncology Queensland (now known as Icon Cancer Centre) who gave us an indepth explanation of the different types of prostate cancer and the amazing advances in treatment options that are now available.
Dr Kumar has expertise in seed implant therapy for the management of early stage prostate cancer and was instrumental in setting up the first seed brachytherapy programme in Queensland.
Through various slides Dr Kumar showed how prostate cancer is detected and treated. The radiation side of treatment has become so precise they are now able to save the bowel and bladder from being affected by the treatment.
What exactly is Prostate Cancer?
- Abnormal growth of cells within the prostate.
- Malignant cells grow more rapidly than normal cells.
- Has the potential to break away from the prostate.
- Can spread to the bones and to lymph nodes which can be life threatening.
Possible symptoms in the later stages of prostate cancer:
- The need to urinate frequently – especially at night.
- Difficulty starting urine flow, interrupted flow an dribbling afterwards.
- Pain or burning during urination
- Blood in the urine.
- Pain during ejaculation.
- Persistent pain in the back, hips and upper thighs
Our next speaker was Jill Costello from ManUp! Australia. ManUp was established in 2010 by Brian and Jill Costello after Brian was diagnosed with prostate cancer and they had difficulty finding relevant information and support about the disease.
Sadly, after battling several melanomas and lung cancer, Brian passed away in March 2018. Jill and Leah (Brian’s daughter) now spend 10 months on the road visiting more than 70 regional and rural communities educating men about prostate cancer and the need for regular testing.
Jill pressed the importance for men to know their PSA score …. do you know your PSA score?
As there are NO symptoms in the early curable states, a routine annual examination by a doctor is the best way of detecting prostate cancer. Early detection not only saves lives, it enables more treatment options and leads to better recovery outcomes.
When should men be tested?
- All men should be tested annually from the age of 40 to establish a baseline.
- If there is a family history, it may be necessary to test before 40 years of age.
- If there is a family history of other cancers such as breast or ovarian cancer.
There is only one common test to detect the possibility of prostate cancer recommended: Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test. Ask your doctor for a free PSA blood test, have the test every year to establish your baseline, know your score, understand your score and track it.
From the age of 40 years, your PSA should never be higher than 3.
If you have a family history of prostate cancer, your PSA should never be higher than 2.
Our final speaker was Jaden Boon the hypnotist. I won’t lie, we were all quite concerned we’d be put under a “spell” and made to act like a chicken, but that didn’t happen (thankfully!).
Jaden spoke about the power of the mind and how he has personally helped people going through cancer using hypnotism.
The human mind possesses an extraordinary power that often goes underestimated. It has the remarkable ability to influence and even facilitate the healing of our bodies trough the sheer force of positivity. Our thoughts, emotions, and attitudes play a pivotal role in our overall well-being. When we harness the inherent strength of a positive mindset, it can work wonders in promoting healing, resilience, and recovery.
Once again, we had a wonderful time with the Redlands Branch of the Cancer Council and helped raised much needed funds to support prostate cancer research.
Remember, if you are thinking of selling or need any help or advice, I am just a phone call away.
All the best, Simon Salm.
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