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Prostate Cancer Claiming Lives in Spite of Simple Test

Thursday 1 September 2016

Kiwi Men under Siege: Prostate Cancer Claiming Lives in Spite of Simple Test

Early testing the key to curbing the most common cancer in Kiwi men

o Prostate cancer in NZ: 600 die, 3,000 diagnosed annually, 1 in 10 will get prostate cancer
o Kiwi men urged to get over themselves and get checked – a blood test is all it takes
o Blue September campaign challenges Kiwis to face their fears alongside celebs

Blue September is having a shake up this year, turning the conversation about Prostate Cancer on its head and challenging New Zealanders to face their fears – there are a million experiences more terrifying than getting a check-up!

From spiders to heights, water to barking dogs and everything weird or wonderful in between, everyone is scared of something. A prostate check should not be one of them – it’s simple, quick and important. A blood test is all it takes to start the process.

Graeme Woodside, Prostate Cancer Foundation CEO, says too many men are dying when a simple test can save lives.

“Enough is enough. In 2016 it’s time for Kiwi men to take more responsibility for their prostate health, starting from the time they turn 40, especially if there is family history of this disease. 1 in 10 Kiwi men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime and too many men are dying by leaving their check-ups until it is too late.”

About the problem
• Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in New Zealand men and the third most common cause of cancer death in men after lung cancer and bowel cancer
• 1 in 10 will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime
• Around 3000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in New Zealand
• Around 600 Kiwi men die from prostate cancer each year, that’s around the same number as women who die from breast cancer
• Māori men are 72 per cent more likely to die of prostate cancer once they are diagnosed than non-Māori men.

• Between 10-20% of men with prostate cancer progress to advanced/metastatic prostate cancer within 3-5 years
• Prostate cancer is a family issue – there is higher risk if brothers, fathers, uncles have had prostate cancer. If a man has two or more first-degree relatives who were diagnosed with prostate cancer under the age of 65 years, then his risk increases by 5–11 times
• The effects of having prostate cancer can be devastating on relationships, finances and careers
• Often those treated are left with unwelcome outcomes of incontinence and erectile dysfunction.

About the testing process:
• Early detection saves lives – it’s as simple as that
• A blood test is all it takes to start the process – simple and quick
• If you’re between 50-70 then consider an annual prostate check that includes both a PSA blood test and a digital rectal examination (DRE)
• Men over the age of 40 are strongly recommended to have regular prostate checks if there is a family history of prostate cancer
• Following preliminary blood or DRE tests, if there is an abnormality in results, a biopsy will be taken to make a diagnosis. Additionally there are bone scans, MRI scans and CT/PET scans which determine treatment options.

From funding groundbreaking research to hosting support groups nationwide, every dollar counts this Blue September. Go to to find out how you can face your fear, see famous Kiwis facing their fears and donate to the Prostate Cancer Foundation.


© Scoop Media

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