In Australia, it is estimated that this year alone, more than 140,000 people will be diagnosed with some type of cancer, and that almost 50,000 deaths will be attributed to this deadly disease.
We all know that cancer is a killer. It doesn’t discriminate. Cancer doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, if you are fit and strong, if you are young or old, or if you’re male or female.
Did you know that prostate cancer is the cause of more than 3500 deaths in Australia each year?
Sadly, 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, which is the second most common cancer in men.
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, a time to highlight the need for improved research, diagnosis, treatment and outcomes surrounding prostate cancer. So, what is the prostate, and why don’t men want to talk about it?
The prostate is a small gland located below the bladder in front of the rectum. It is usually the size of a walnut, and is responsible for producing some of the fluid in semen.
As a man ages, the prostate can become larger, which causes problems as it affects the other vital organs associated with eliminating waste, and can affect a man’s sexual performance.
This is probably the main reason that men are often unwilling to have a conversation or visit a doctor if things don’t seem to be working as usual.
Prostate issues should not be a taboo topic, and any changes should result in prompt action.
Make an appointment with your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms:
- Frequent passing of urine
- A slow flow, or interrupted passing of urine
- Difficulty passing urine
- Blood in urine
- Pain passing urine
- Persistent pain in the lower back or pelvic area.
Although prostate cancer is discovered predominantly in men over the age of 50, there really is no better feeling than peace of mind for men of all ages. GTL can help to provide this, with the Cancer Panel Genetic Predisposition Test.
This test analyses your DNA to discover your risk of developing a number of hereditary cancers, including prostate cancer. Screening for the most common cancer causing mutations, the panel analyses over 130 genes associated with hereditary cancers, confirming whether or not you carry the genetic mutations.
By evaluating a blood sample that contains your unique DNA, our laboratory scientists provide you with results that can be a valuable tool in reducing your risk of certain cancers. If your results indicate that you are at a higher risk of prostate cancer, then you should establish regular check-ups with your doctor or specialist. Early intervention and preventative measures can greatly reduce your chances of becoming a statistic.
While you’re waiting for your results, why not get your mates together for a Big Aussie BBQ, a year round initiative which aims to get men together in a non-threatening, social way to talk about their experiences, fears and questions they may have about prostate cancer. What better way to start a conversation about a sensitive issue than with beers, BBQ, and buddies? You can host a BBQ, donate, or sponsor a mate.
GTL is a proud advocate of Prostate Cancer Awareness Week, and our staff will be hosting backyard BBQs to raise the profile of this devastating disease.