Childers men told to Man Up!

Driv­ing home the need for prostate tests

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page -

MAN Up is the mes­sage be­ing de­liv­ered to the re­gion’s men as a statewide tour pro­motes prostate can­cer aware­ness.

The group vis­ited 37 towns in 37 days, Childers form­ing the fi­nal leg of the trip. Two vin­tage cars trav­elled with the tour to at­tract at­ten­tion and send a sym­bolic mes­sage,

Man Up! For Prostate Can­cer speaker and prostate can­cer sur­vivor Carl Neil­son said the cars, a 1924 Dodge ute and a 1942 Dodge car­ryall, con­veyed their own mes­sage.

“They’re here be­cause they’ve been looked after, and it’s sym­bolic be­cause if you look after your body, it will be here for you too,” he said. “We need to drive that mes­sage home.”

But Mr Neil­son said the re­al­ity was quite dif­fer­ent.

“Men hide out in shame. They don’t want to talk about their health, sex­ual health in par­tic­u­lar.”

But that cer­tainly wasn’t the case in Childers on Septem­ber 25 as men came from near and far for the event, the Isis Ma­sonic Lodge packed with men and

Brian Costello Man Up! founder It’s a bit like Lotto. If your num­ber’s up, you’re go­ing to get it.

their sup­port­ive wives and moth­ers.

Prostate can­cer sur­vivor Brian Costello founded Man Up! For Prostate Can­cer with his wife Jill after his own can­cer ex­pe­ri­ence re­vealed a lack of in­for­ma­tion and support.

He said there were lots of cam­paigns and support for women’s can­cers but “none” for men’s.

“It’s not right. It’s not fair,” he said.

Mr Costello’s wife and co-founder of Man Up!, Jill, said it was dis­ap­point­ing to see such a dis­par­ity in support be­tween breast can­cer and prostate can­cer.

“I had breast can­cer and had the same nurse for five years,” Mrs Costello said.

“Then when Brian was di­ag­nosed (with prostate can­cer) there was just no support.”

Mrs Costello said her hus­band was given lit­tle more than a brochure after his di­ag­no­sis.

“They said, ‘Here’s a pam­phlet, go away and read it’ – and you need a lot more than that, you need help,” she said.

Mr Costello said the group aimed to get the mes­sage of prostate can­cer out there.

“About how se­vere and common this dis­ease is and what you need to do about it,” he said.

“With prostate can­cer at the mo­ment there is noth­ing you can do to pre­vent it.

“It’s a bit like Lotto. If your num­ber’s up you’re go­ing to get it.”

He said it was im­por­tant men knew there were no early symp­toms and they needed to have an­nual tests.

“I had none. You need to be proac­tive. On a yearly ba­sis, have a PSA test.

“You can’t sit on your back­side and do noth­ing.”

PHOTO: LEAH KIDD

MANUP: Founders Brian and Jill Costello with Bris­bane-based Queens­land Freema­son Mal­colm Camp­bell and Childers-based Freema­son Al­lan Bald­win out­side the Isis Ma­sonic Lodge for the prostate can­cer aware­ness talk.

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