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Govt’s cancer battle leaves men out in the cold

Tuesday, 8 March 2005

Alexander: Govt’s cancer battle leaves men out in the cold

Men facing prostate cancer are strangely absent from the Government’s new cancer initiative despite it claiming 500 lives a year, United Future MP and Men’s Advocacy Network facilitator Marc Alexander said today.

“Its all very well to fork out $13.2 million for breast screen age extension and $2.2 million to stamp out smoking but why isn’t anything been done to screen men for prostate cancer?” Mr Alexander asked. “No one begrudges the treatment of any illness, but when a condition that does massive damage is conspicuous by its absence from Government thinking, we need to ask why.

“The fact is that around 30 percent of all male cancers are prostate; there are 2500 new cases a year; with well over 500 men dying each year from this disease. The best comparison? In 2000, cervical cancer claimed 66 lives; prostate cancer took 594 lives that year - look at the money and emphasis given to it as opposed to prostate cancer.”

Mr Alexander said he didn’t begrudge once cent being given to other conditions, but illnesses that hit men needed to be brought up to that level of commitment.

“It looks suspiciously like the silence of men and the lack of past advocacy has meant that too little too late is being done. There is treatment, but without a national strategy too often sufferers end up in a wooden box.”


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