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Spotlight on prostate health

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Diagnosed in 2002, Ian Fisk was suddenly “forced to become interested” in prostate cancer.

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At the time he underwent a routine check by his doctor which revealed an irregularity. Although he had none of the symptoms of the disease, further testing for the then 57-year-old resulted in a diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Faced with numerous treatment options, Mr Fisk chose to undergo brachytherapy treatment in Melbourne. Today, 18 years later, he uses his personal experience to raise awareness of the disease which claims the lives of about 3200 Australian men each year.

An ambassador for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) since 2006, Mr Fisk was the guest speaker at the regular gathering of the Senior Priests’ Group last month.

In his presentation ‘Prostate: A Tough Nut to Crack’, Mr Fisk reinforced that while prostate cancer was the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, his story proved it didn’t have to be a death sentence.

“But it’s important that even if you have no symptoms you should consider being tested because if prostate cancer is detected early it can be treated and cured,” he said.

The PCFA policy is ‘men should be offered the opportunity to consider and discuss the benefits and harms of PSA testing before making the decision whether or not to be tested’. More details are on the PCFA website pcfa.org.au.

The retired electrical engineer also outlined some of the risk factors of the disease – such as age, family history and diet – the various treatment options available, and the side effects that could be expected.

Held at Francis Murphy Villa, Mr Fisk’s presentation was one of several that have been organised by Clergy Care to increase awareness about health issues relevant to an ageing population.

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