A PROSTATE cancer campaigner is urging men on the Mornington Peninsula to find out their prostate cancer risk as data shows the region has the highest rate in the state and the second highest in the country.
The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia’s Stargate portal reveals the peninsula’s rate of 216 per 100,000 men compares poorly with the state’s average of 139 and the national average of 150.
Winston Trood, 80, who convenes the Peninsula Prostate Cancer Support Group, says more men need to be aware of the disease. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014 aged 74 after having his regular PSA blood test.
His GP noticed his PSA levels were rising and a urologist confirmed he had prostate cancer.
“My mother fought cancer for 10 years and eventually she told me she couldn’t fight any more and wanted to let go,” Mr Trood said.
“All those thoughts were going through my mind, and I did the fatal thing of getting on the computer and googling.”
Mr Trood, of Mornington, said support he received through PCFA’s website was valuable: “I called the local support group and told my story. The coordinator told me: I’m going to assure you, there’s life after prostate cancer.
“Those words really resonated with me, and I turned a corner then.”
Mr Trood elected to have surgery to remove his prostate. With the help of his urologist, physiotherapist and medical team he recovered and life is now “fairly normal”. He is grateful the cancer was picked up at a treatable stage and wants other men to participate in PSA blood tests.
“One of the things we do with the group is run an awareness program to teach men about prostate cancer. We speak to men’s groups and tell them not to be brave about it – speak to your doctor and get your PSA test done.”
PFCA boss Professor Jeff Dunn said: “I would encourage all men to look at the Stargate data and find out about their prostate cancer risk. Regular screening tests are vital for early detection and it’s also important that men know there is help and support available throughout their journey.”
A telenursing service can support anyone affected by prostate cancer, including family and friends. The service is available Australia wide.
Details: Visit stargate.org.au
Those affected by prostate cancer can talk to a specialist nurse on 1800 22 00 99.
To find out about support from PCFA, including local support groups go to prostate.org.au/support/