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Monday, 14 September 2009
Page: 9508

Mr GEORGANAS (4:08 PM) —Last week I had the great pleasure and honour to attend and be part of the launch of National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month here in this place. It was very pleasing to see many members of this parliament from all sides of politics in attendance, including the Treasurer, who launched the awareness month and also spoke about his own experiences with prostate cancer. Part of the theme was the colour blue—you may have seen the blue badges and blue ties that were worn last week. This widespread blue hue marked the start of the rollout of a myriad blue barbecues around the nation to promote prostate awareness. The barbecues will come with all the trimmings, of course, but in the name of good health. Blue barbecue aprons were given out and are to be worn and blue tongs will promote awareness of prostate cancer. These barbecues will be hosted by men who want to share the importance of knowing about good health and continuing health. This, of course, is all for a good cause: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

There are fewer things that men around Australia need to become better aware of. One in nine men in Australia will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime. As many men die from prostate cancer as women die from breast cancer, yet the proportion of men who have felt informed about prostate cancer is only two thirds of the proportion of women who have felt informed about breast cancer. I encourage all and sundry to spread the word and join the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia to raise the community’s awareness of how big a problem this condition is and why people should get themselves checked. The chance of developing prostate cancer increases as men get older and, if there is a family history of prostate cancer, again the chances are high. Early, curable prostate cancer may not have symptoms. However, simple testing by a GP can indicate prostate cancer. These are really simple messages. As is so often the case, the message is not difficult. Getting a person to hear it is the difficult bit—hence the blue hue and the blue barbecues of last week, which will continue this month.

I encourage all members here today to get in touch with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and get their neighbourhood community groups, congregations, parents, friends and book clubs to help spread the message so that many losses in families around our nation can potentially be avoided through talking about prostate cancer, spreading the message, understanding the risks and getting checked just to be safe. I would like to congratulate the foundation for its fantastic work, but I would also like to congratulate all those doctors who are bringing up the subject with their patients turning 40. Our responses might be mixed, but please persist— (Time expired)