Did you know that more than 320 Australian men will receive a prostate cancer diagnosis every week?
And that this year alone, more than 3,200 Australian men will die of the disease?
Ian Brown, resident at Robertson Park retirement village, does, which is why he organised an awareness and fundraising event during Men's Health Week in support of MANDATE, the PA Research Foundation's movement that encourages Australian men to take ownership of their health and rally together to support prostate cancer research.
Residents and staff from Newmarket Parklands Retirement Village and Robertson Park Retirement Village came together for a sit-down lunch with live music from the 'Baby Boomer' band, a line dancing demonstration and raffles. There was even a stall run by Robertson Park's Ladies Chat Group where guests could purchase handcrafted and donated goods, with all funds raised going towards MANDATE. All up, the stall raised $1,200, while the entire event raised an impressive total of $4,320 for the cause.
Originally inspired by the work and fundraising for Project Pink, and the shocking health statistics surrounding the disease, Ian says that he wants to create more awareness around men's health.
"Our Aveo communities have always supported Project Pink, it’s an event that the residents have enjoyed every year," Ian said.
"Everyone understands breast cancer and the importance of research, but I felt there was something missing for men's health."
As part of the event, the community also invited Professor Colleen Nelson AM, the Founder and Executive Director of the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre - Queensland (APCRC-Q) and Chair of Prostate Cancer Research at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), to speak about the research that she and her team are undertaking.
"We are focused on the development of new therapies for advanced prostate cancer, where the cancer has stopped responding to any available treatments," Professor Nelson said.
"There are exciting treatment advances in development, which we hope will improve survival with limited toxicity. Compared to a decade ago, we have made many advances, but there is a long way to go in improving the lives of men living with prostate cancer."
"That's why it is incredibly important for people to get involved and be more aware of prostate cancer and the impact it has on men and their families. There are many Aveo residents that have already been affected by it, either living with it or widowed by it. Those affected by prostate cancer in their family also need to help make their sons and grandsons aware of the magnitude and impact of prostate cancer personally, and for our society."
"Together, the Aveo community can be a critically important part of the solution to conquering prostate cancer and improving the lives of men and their family living with prostate cancer."
Ian agreed, and when asked if he had any advice for men who might be too proud to check below the belt, his response was resounding.
"Don’t be a fool. It doesn’t hurt to be checked and it can be worth so much," he said.
"If you get hold of it early, you have a greater chance of limiting its impact."
If you, or someone you know, has been affected by prostate cancer and you would like to show your support for this important cause, visit the MANDATE website to find out more.