APC Champions are prostate cancer survivors and friends who go above and beyond to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer and the APC.
The father-in-law to North Melbourne Football Coach Brad Scott has been treated for prostate cancer and is keen to deliver his message to other men. John shared his story in the lead up to the first prostate clash in 2016.
Tamas is a 44 year old father of two and the Group Executive of Pepperstone. Tamas was diagnosed with prostate cancer after a heightened PSA level was discovered during a routine health check organised by his employer.
“I’d recorded a higher PSA reading and was referred to an urologist for further assessment. Things didn’t seem urgent, although it was three times higher than the previous tests, so the referral sat in my glovebox for at least 6 months. I didn’t think of myself as fitting the typically male characteristic of putting off health related matters until later, but now realise I am one of those who make up that large population of male procrastinators of medical things. Tomorrow was more than 6 months away for myself. I was normal (so I’m now told), very stupid and fortunately very, very lucky.
I’ve become a little involved in prostate awareness because they’ve told me I’m the norm. But I was very slack and probably irresponsible to my family, let alone myself. My message is fairly simple to all us blokes who tell our partners…Yes, I will, in the next day or two. DO IT NOW…DON’T DO IT LATER.”
“It was pretty upsetting to receive the diagnosis but after talking with my surgeon I was told that there was treatment that I could undertake and my chances were good given an early diagnosis. It also upsetting for my wife but we both received great support from friends and family. I had a radical prostatectomy – which is the removal of the prostate – through robotic surgery. Fortunately, my treatment period mainly consisted of rest after my operation, I did not need to undergo any more complex treatments. Take care of yourself particularly as you age and don’t be scared of asking questions and seeing your GP – don’t take pride in never having any issue or not having to go to the doctor as I did – things can happen without you being aware. Also if you have any issues, best to see an expert do not rely on Dr Google. It may well not happen but don’t make the assumption that it won’t – the consequences aren’t great if you don’t catch any issues early. Its perfectly treatable and there are some great surgeons and doctors around, your safe in their hands don’t go alone.”
Ian and Christine Robins
Prostate patient Ian Robins and his wife Christine travelled 16,000 kilometres around Australia raising awareness and funds for prostate cancer. Ian drove the support vehicle while Christine made the long journey on foot.
Prostate cancer survivor Malcolm McGinn and 11 of his mates rode postie bikes full throttle from his home town of Tasmania to Cairns to raise greater awareness about the importance of regular health checks.
“Seven years ago my brother in law was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, he asked if I had been checked. Why should I get checked – I felt well, I had nothing wrong with me. Too my surprise, my PSA was 21… my journey had started. Within a month my prostate was removed, 12 months later my PSA had started to rise again, I had seven weeks of Radiation from which my PSA settled again for the next two years. Then the cancer raised its ugly head again, so for the last three years I have been on Female Hormone Implants which stabled the cancer. Just recently my PSA has risen again so now I am on further cancer treatment. So all men PLEASE get your PSA checked even if you feel well.”
“After experiencing symptoms and a feeling that something wasn’t quite right I consulted an Urologist for review. After repeated PSA tests and perseverance it was confirmed that I had prostate cancer. After many hours and long conversations with my doctor and family, I decided to undergo surgery. The days and weeks that following surgery were very traumatic, but I was encouraged by visits and messages from my mates. This led to the thought to use my experience to encourage men to take charge of their health, whether physical or mental, and seek help and to also stand alongside their mates in times of need. Wanting to do this in a way to attract some attention, myself and friend, Dave thought it would be great idea to ride from Hobart to Cairns on postie bikes!”