Men urged to book health checks

Albany Extra - - News - Jes­sica Cuth­bert

Al­bany res­i­dent Steven Finch is en­cour­ag­ing men to check their bod­ies af­ter he was di­ag­nosed with tes­tic­u­lar can­cer in 2014.

Mr Finch is a spokesman for Men’s Health Week, rais­ing aware­ness of dis­eases and ill­nesses in men and the im­por­tance of catch­ing them early.

The 31-year-old artist said the signs of his can­cer were dis­cov­ered by his part­ner.

“My part­ner had no­ticed some­thing was un­usual and im­plored me to see a doc­tor for weeks,” he said. “Men should def­i­nitely get checked reg­u­larly, both for them­selves and for their friends and loved ones.”

Mr Finch said get­ting di­ag­nosed with can­cer in his mid-20s was a shock.

“I was di­ag­nosed with tes­tic­u­lar can­cer in my mid-late 20s and be­cause I had waited to see a doc­tor, I im­me­di­ately had to have surgery to re­move the tu­mour, and did not have ad­e­quate health in­sur­ance,” he said.

“It was a tremen­dous shock, par­tic­u­larly as I was a low-in­come earner, to go from think­ing you're OK to hav­ing ma­jor surgery within the space of a day.

“One thing that got me through is af­ter post­ing pub­licly about hav­ing can­cer, a lot of peo­ple reached out to me with sup­port.”

Mr Finch, now in re­mis­sion af­ter surgery and chemo­ther­apy, said men were par­tic­u­larly re­sis­tant to the idea that they were vul­ner­a­ble to dis­ease, and often at­tempted to sol­dier on through emo­tional and phys­i­cal pain.

“I think men should talk to each other more and lis­ten to peo­ple who care about them and I think the im­por­tance of Men’s Health Week is not just for in­di­vid­ual men to pay more at­ten­tion to their health, but for the im­por­tance of a health­ier cul­ture of men, too,” he said.

“Men need to com­mu­ni­cate bet­ter with oth­ers about their needs and (be) more aware of their phys­i­cal/men­tal health rather than as­sum­ing things are fine be­cause you want them to be.”

Tes­tic­u­lar can­cer is not a com­mon can­cer, but it is the most com­monly di­ag­nosed can­cer, af­ter skin can­cer, in men aged 18-39.

About 800 men are di­ag­nosed with tes­tic­u­lar can­cer in Aus­tralia each year, ac­count­ing for about 1 per cent of all can­cers in men.

It is most com­mon in men aged 25-40.

Pic­ture: Lau­rie Ben­son

Al­bany artist Steven Finch, who is in re­mis­sion af­ter hav­ing tes­tic­u­lar­cancer surgery and treat­ment, is en­cour­ag­ing men to­have reg­u­lar check-ups.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.