07 September 2017

September is International Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and our message to everyone is to get involved and help raise awareness and much needed funds for the fight against prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is a serious men's health issue being the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian men with 20,000 diagnoses and close to 3,300 deaths each year.

As part of this awareness month, numerous events and activities are happening right across Australia that we are encouraging everyone to take part. One such event was the Parliamentary Big Aussie Barbie at Parliament House in Canberra yesterday afternoon.

The support we got from Members of Parliament and Senators was overwhelming and we thank everyone for helping to raise awareness of prostate cancer and the importance of taking control of your health and pro-actively speaking to your doctor about testing options. PCFA encourages men over 50, or 40 if they have a family history of prostate cancer, to talk to their doctor about being tested at their next health check-up.

Prime Minister of Australia The Hon, Malcolm Turnbull MP kicked off the event and addressed the crowd and encouraged men to stop being shy about asking their doctor for a check-up.

We would also like to thank The Hon. Jason Clare MP, Member for Blaxland and The Hon. Warren Entsch MP, Member for Leichhardt, co-convenors of Parliamentary Friends of Prostate Cancer Awareness, for hosting yesterday's barbie.

You can watch snippets of the speeches in the video below:

As part of this event, we partnered with Pathology Awareness Australia to offer Members of Parliament, Senators and staff the opportunity to have a PSA blood test. After talking to a doctor, 91 men decided to have a test. It was a fantastic opportunity for initiating a dialogue with politicians about the benefits of early detection and surveillance strategies to monitor low risk prostate cancers.

As The Hon. Jason Clare MP pointed out: "Unfortunately, a lot of men don't get checked until it's too late when all it takes is a simple blood test. Talk to your doctor about being tested. It might just save your life".

We also encourage GPs to familiarise themselves with the Clinical Practice Guidelines on PSA Testing. The guidelines have been introduced to benefit health professionals and provide a framework to improve patient outcomes from PSA testing and early management of test-detected prostate cancer.

GP Dr Paul Gooding talks about the importance of speaking to your doctor about testing options in your next health check up in the video below: