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Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Page: 1035

Mrs PRENTICE (RyanAssistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services) (16:58): Today I had the very great privilege of meeting a remarkable member of the Ryan community, Mr Jim Marshall, who was at parliament with friends and fellow survivors, nurses, oncologists and medical experts, to tell us—with no punches pulled, I can assure you—about living and dying with prostate cancer.

While it is his surname that is synonymous with Marshall Lane in the suburb of Kenmore in my electorate of Ryan, where he grew up on his father's farm, I rise to speak in respect to his first name, Jim—or should I say JimJimJimJim?—as it is under that name and website that he has made a significant contribution, not only to the Ryan community but to Australia as well.

Jim is a unique character who has suffered the ups and downs of the 'big C'. Diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009, Jim has experienced a tumultuous ride that affects many Australians with cancer. To his credit, Jim developed and continues to run a nationwide support group for men with advanced prostate cancer.

The support group is easily accessible via Jim's website, aptly addressed, which provides men from all across Australia with a forum to ask questions, seek assurance and find further information concerning the dreaded disease that is prostate cancer. Calling themselves the Australian Advanced Prostate Cancer Support Group, they do not purport to provide a medical service, nor do they seek to offer medical advice. What they do offer is a forum whereby men at all stages of prostate cancer from prognosis to diagnosis to remission, and their families, can share experiences with others and question the guest speakers as they participate in a 1800 group call line. For a group of people who are suffering and battling through the same disease, an outreach group such as the Australian Advanced Prostate Cancer Support Group is often a godsend.

There were many Jims in the room today. In fact, all the gentlemen who are fighting advanced prostate cancer were wearing a 'Jim' name badge because they are all in it together. At today's event, Jim Marshall was presented with a Max Gardner Award for Distinguished Service by another Jim, Jim Hughes AM, national Chairman of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.

The fact remains that prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian men. With more men dying of prostate cancer than women of breast cancer, now is the time to have an open and frank discussion about this life-changing condition. Mr Deputy Speaker, did you know that one in seven men risk getting prostate cancer by the age of 75, and by the age of 85 this increases to one in five? These are real statistics that affect real men across Australia: sons, fathers, brothers and friends.

I encourage men, not just those in the Ryan electorate, to talk to their doctor about testing for prostate cancer as part of their annual health check-up. Taking the lives of more than 3,000 men annually, prostate cancer is serious. But, through the Australian Advanced Prostate Cancer Support Group, sufferers are no longer isolated.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Hastie ): In accordance with standing order 193, the time for members' constituency statements has concluded.