PROSTATE Cancer claims the lives of nine men every day and is the most common cancer amongst Australian men.
Despite the pervasive nature of this disease, many suffer in silence, leading to an increased likelihood of depression and anxiety as a result of their diagnosis.
Seventy -two per cent of men diagnosed will not reach out for mental health support.
Throughout the month of September, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia will raise funds for support services and research.
The Long Run is a fundraising initiative calling on the community to walk, run or wheel 72km in solidarity with men affected by the disease.
As of mid-September, over one million dollars had been raised.
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia’s CEO Professor Jeff Dunn said that reducing the stigma around prostate cancer is imperative to ensure men detect the disease early.
“The more conversations we can start this month, and right throughout the year, the more lives we will save,” Professor Dunn said.
“Around 18,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in Australia this year alone, impacting our fathers, sons, brothers, grandfathers and mates.”
“With research, prostate cancer survival rates have increased significantly over the past 30 years, with five-year survival rates at 95 per cent,” Professor Dunn said.
“We know that with the right education and research, this will continue to increase.”
Lifestyle factors play a major role in the development of prostate cancer.
Limiting red meat intake, regularly eating fresh fruit and vegetables and having a regular exercise program are everyday changes that can prevent the development of the cancer.
Nurse Practitioner at the Australian Prostate Centre, Helen Crowe advocates for the necessity of a good relationship with a GP as the first step in encouraging men to talk about prostate cancer.
“[If men have a] GP they like and trust all of the routine health checks can be done at appropriate times,” Ms Crowe said.
“[This helps with] providing information about prostate cancer and dispelling the myth that it is only a disease of old men
“Finally, it is very helpful to have their wives or partners on side.”
The Australian Prostate Centre is involved with numerous research projects including finding better ways to diagnose prostate cancer.
“At APC we have just set up a Genomics Clinic to see if we can find any genes in men with high-risk prostate cancer which might help identify treatments they will respond to better,” Ms Crowe said.
“That is just a snapshot of some of the research, but there is more happening every day.”
People can sign-up for The Long Run at any point during the month at thelongrun.org.au