Prostate cancer knows no boundaries and does not discriminate - it's for this reason the Parkes Prostate Cancer Awareness and Support Group is raising as much awareness as it can and pushing for men to get checked.
Prostate cancer is one of the highest causes of death among men.
But the group's chairperson Michael Lynch said it doesn't have to be.
"It is imperative that all men are aware of the possibilities of an enlarged or cancerous prostate," he said.
"Men are inclined to bury their heads in the sand in the hope that it will not affect them.
"When statistics tell us that more than 25,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 3500 men will die from it in Australia this year, caution may be life-saving."
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia's Stargate Project aims to improve prostate cancer awareness by providing information on the burden of the disease at a regional level.
Mr Lynch said the project gives us some idea how widespread this cancer is and provides some tips on how to prevent it.
He wanted to share some of the information with the Parkes community (below):
- Prostate cancer does not discriminate: Prostate cancer does not discriminate, weather you are Australian-born or not, and if you are indigenous or not.
- Males over 50 years: The number of males over 50 years old progressively increases from the Sydney City area (23 per cent) out to the Far West and Orana regions (39 per cent).
- Locations within Australia: Regardless of your location within Australia the median age that men are diagnosed with prostate cancer is 68 years. In the Central West region this age is 69 years, higher than the Australian average.
- Average new cases: In NSW, the average rate of new cases per 100,000 men is highest in the Far West and Orana regions, with 174 cases followed by the Central West region with 169 cases, compared with only 135 cases in the Sydney - Parramatta area.
- Average death rate: In NSW, the average death rate per 100,000 men is highest in the Far West and Orana regions with 29, followed by the Central West region with 26, compared with 17 in the Sydney - City and Inner South.
- Prostate cancer numbers and deaths: In the Central West, and the Far West and Orana regions prostate cancer totals 29 per cent of all male cancers compared with 25 per cent in the Sydney - City and Inner South.In the Central West, and the Far West and Orana regions prostate cancer is the cause of 12 per cent of all male cancer deaths compared with 8 per cent in the Sydney - City and Inner South.
- Early diagnosis: What is pleasing is the percentage of early stage 1 prostate cancer cases diagnosed early in the Far West and Orana region (71.9 per cent) and the Central West (75.4 per cent), compared with 50.3 per cent in the Sydney - City and Inner South area.This is a strong indication that prostate cancer awareness is working and improving in our western regions.
- Staying in shape: We need to be aware that our daily health can impact treatment options, recovery and well being as 78-79 per cent of men in the Central West, and the Far West and Orana regions are overweight or obese compared to 63 per cent of men in the Sydney - City and Inner South area.
- Keep active: It is worth noting that 73-74 per cent of all the population in the Central West, and the Far West and Orana regions have no or low physical activity levels compared to 60 per cent in the Sydney - City and Inner South area.
The Parkes Prostate Cancer Awareness and Support Group meet every fourth Tuesday of each month in the Parkes Neighbourhood Central.
"While we are affiliated with the Prostate Cancer of Australia, we are open to all suffering from any type of cancer, male or female," Mr Lynch said.
"Do not continue to keep your head in the sand, come and learn more and support all those going through the journey."