Be­ing prostate aware

Chinchilla News - - NEWS OPINION -

CAN­CER Coun­cil Queens­land CEO Ms Chris McMil­lan is en­cour­ag­ing men to get in­formed about prostate can­cer. Septem­ber is Prostate Can­cer Aware­ness Month and CCQ is urg­ing men to help raise aware­ness of the dis­ease and bet­ter un­der­stand their risk to help de­tect it early. En­sure you are in­formed by read­ing these five im­por­tant points.

One, it’s the most com­mon form of can­cer in Queens­land men. The ap­prox­i­mate life­time risk for a Queens­land male to be di­ag­nosed with prostate can­cer be­fore the age of 85 is one in five. It makes up 26 per cent of all male can­cers and 12 per cent of male can­cer deaths.

Two, ge­net­ics mat­ter. Men with a fam­ily his­tory have an in­creased risk of de­vel­op­ing the dis­ease. If your fa­ther or brother has had prostate can­cer – your risk will be twice that of other men. Or, if you have a strong fam­ily his­tory of breast or ovar­ian can­cer, par­tic­u­larly BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mu­ta­tions, your risk is also in­creased.

Three, risk in­creases with age. Prostate can­cer is most com­monly di­ag­nosed in men aged between 60 and 79, with the risk rapidly in­creas­ing for men aged over 50.

Four, it’s im­por­tant to dis­cuss any changes to your body with your gen­eral prac­ti­tioner. Early prostate can­cer gen­er­ally does not pro­duce any symp­toms. Any change you may ex­pe­ri­ence, is worth a dis­cus­sion with your GP. A num­ber of other non-can­cer­ous con­di­tions can af­fect men and pro­duce symp­toms, so it is bet­ter to get them checked out!

Five, un­der­stand your risk and talk to your GP about any con­cerns you may have. Un­der­stand­ing your risk will help to de­ter­mine what you do next. While there is no sin­gle, sim­ple test to de­tect prostate can­cer, it is im­por­tant that Queens­land men un­der­stand their risk and dis­cuss test­ing with their GP. It is im­por­tant to be in­formed be­fore mak­ing any de­ci­sion about your health.

Be­ing di­ag­nosed with can­cer or sup­port­ing a fam­ily mem­ber or friend can leave you with many ques­tions, so please know you don’t have to face can­cer alone – we’re here to help.

Call 13 11 20 to speak to a mem­ber of CCQ’s Can­cer In­for­ma­tion and Sup­port Team to ac­cess in­for­ma­tion or con­fi­den­tial sup­port and re­fer­rals.

More in­for­ma­tion at can­cerqld.org.au.

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