Aug 23, 2021
Man Up Australia is committed to sharing knowledge about the healthcare process for men with prostate cancer because there’s often a lack of support and resources to help see them through their treatment. Originally, they thought Man Up would be all about support services, and they tried to organize things like prostate care nurses. However, getting people interested in something that no one really knew about was hard because there wasn’t that awareness that things like breast cancer have. So they started an educational program that targets male-dominated industries to educate men on what they should be doing.
Many people don’t realize that early-stage prostate cancer has no symptoms, so if you’re waiting for symptoms to get checked, you’ll be in trouble. The stats say 1-in-5 Queenslanders get prostate cancer, but the national average is 1-in-7. The only way to take control at all is to test yourself and test yourself often. Anything that suddenly is different, you should never just ignore it. Survival rates are much better the earlier you catch it. The test is really easy, but you do have to ask for it. Try to be consistent. Men should also always know their PSA score, which is unique and should stay the same every year. Education is so important, and knowing what to look and ask for can make a world of difference.
We drill proactive health into girls from a young age, and there’s a huge disconnect with men’s health. They don’t want to have these conversations because it’s not something that’s been taught to be important, and it’s not something all doctors automatically test. General practitioners have a complicated job and have to know a little bit about everything. So, they might not test for things they don’t think are relevant at that moment. Many doctors, however, are very receptive to doing PSA checks when asked, but others give a pushback due to age and situation protocols. Outside programs can help you with things like blood testing for your PSA if your doctor isn’t willing. [They said the name once, but I couldn’t quite catch what they said- Maxellus?]
Part of Man Up Australia is taking the fear and stigma out of prostate testing. Many don’t realize doctors no longer use the “finger test,” but rather blood tests that are less invasive and more accurate. It’s a movement about the passion and concern for men, much like our movement for women. It’s not hard to make a difference. Man Up Australia has a website to post information about its events, benefits, partners, and donations.
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