Australian Coat of Arms

Member for Blaxland

Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government

Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness 

Prostate Cancer - Federation Chamber - 22 July 2019

Federation Chamber 

Prostate Cancer 

 

Thank you very much Madam Deputy Speaker. And can I start by thanking the Member for Perth for bringing forward this really important motion for discussion in our Parliament. We don't talk about prostate cancer enough as blokes.

Generally, we're really bad at looking after our health. We're not great at going and seeing the doctor. We're not great at booking in a regular appointment and making sure that we get a blood test and make sure that everything's okay. We tend to leave it all and just assume that everything's going to be okay or just too afraid to find out that something might be wrong with us. And it's particularly the case with prostate cancer.

You know, there's this misinformed view out there in the community that you know if you've got to go and get a check-up to see if you've got prostate cancer then you've got to get a finger up the backside and as blokes we go I don't want to have that and so blokes don't get checked up at all. The tragedy in all of that is that that's not true. That you can get a really simple blood test. It's called a PSA test. You can get that test as part of your regular blood test that everyone should get once a year as part of checking on cholesterol or diabetes or anything else. Just check it out. Particularly if the family's got a history of prostate cancer and you're in your forties. Or if there is no history in the family, you should be starting to do it in your fifties.

And that's what David did. The gentleman in this video. Just make it a regular part of looking after yourself to make sure that you're okay because the key with prostate cancer is in the early stages, there are no symptoms. But if you can get it early enough then it's not a death sentence. And so the key is to all the blokes watching and listening out there go and get a PSA test. So I really really want to thank the Member for Perth for bringing this motion forward for the Parliament to talk about and in particular I want to thank David Dyke. The gentleman that's produced this video that's available on YouTube and I encourage people that are listening and watching this debate to go and click on it and watch it. It's  a very powerful revealing personal honest story. That will hopefully encourage blokes to go and get a PSA test.

But also help men that have just received a positive test to know what comes next what their options are what they can do. Because the video starts where David's just been told that his PSA levels are elevated and he might have prostate cancer. Goes and sees a specialist, they do a biopsy and they confirm that he does have prostate cancer. Then the doctor talks to him about what his options are and what are all the potential side effects and the side effects are real and blokes worry about all of those different things. But he talks about it with his doctor. He tells people in the video what he's up against and what he's got to do. You see the actual operation. We see the camera inside of him and how they how they removed the prostate cancer and then you see all the rehabilitation as he goes through all the exercises to recover and return to a pretty normal life.

As I said, it's a really personal story, but it's important to note that David is not alone. He talks about this being a lonely thing that he has to do himself but of course as the Member for Perth and others have said this is not something that just happens to one or two Australians. More Australians die from prostate cancer every year than breast cancer.

More than 3,000 Aussies will die from prostate cancer this year. Nine will die today. My grandfather died from prostate cancer. But your chances of survival are so much greater if you get it early and that's why taking the blood test, incorporating it into your regular blood tests, are so important. Remember David had no symptoms at all, but the PSA test saved his life.

Every year we do a big barbecue here with the Prostate Cancer Foundation. It's coming up again in September and for the last two years with Warren Entsch the Member for Leichhardt. We've also extended that so Pathology Australia run PSA testing for us here in the building. Two years ago 50 blokes in the building did a PSA test and a couple of months later one security guard came up to me and said thank you for doing that - I've got prostate cancer. Might have saved his life. Last year 200 blokes did the PSA test. A Member of Parliament rang me the other day and said thank you for doing that. I've got prostate cancer.

We've got to get the message out to as many people as we possibly can. Blokes - don't be worried about this. Be worried about not looking after your health. Get the blood test. Save your life. It's so important and it's so easy click on this video and watch how you can do it.