Mr PASIN (Barker) (16:17): Deputy Speaker Gillespie, I know you know that this week is Men’s Health Week. Unfortunately, the health status of men in most countries, including Australia, is generally poorer than that of women. More men die at early stages of life, more men have accidents, more men take their own lives and more men suffer from lifestyle related conditions than women of the same ages. At the same time, men are less frequent visitors to their general practitioners and less inclined to seek help on account of their health. Men’s Health Week is to heighten awareness of preventable health problems and to encourage early detection and treatment of disease amongst men and boys.
I’m a huge supporter of raising awareness of men’s health issues, particularly conditions that are preventable or have high survival rates when detected early. Prostate cancer is one such condition. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australian men, and early detection and treatment can significantly improve prostate cancer survival rates.
The Limestone Coast region in Barker has a strong community-led prostate cancer support group, and I’m really pleased that every year they take the opportunity to have their big annual Aussie barbie out the front of my electorate office. It’s now in its sixth year, and the Limestone Coast Prostate Cancer Support Group join with me at my office. We have a great day. We cook a few snags and we raise money, but, most importantly, we raise awareness about prostate cancer and the importance of knowing the risk factors, knowing the symptoms and how to undergo the health checks, particularly that you can now rely on a blood test.
The Limestone Coast has also been fortunate to have the support of the Male Bag Foundation, an organisation I’ve spoken about previously in this place. This year the foundation’s efforts were aimed at funding transperineal biopsy machines in Riverland and the Limestone Coast. The foundation has entered into a memorandum of understanding to facilitate machines at both locations by mid-2021. These machines will significantly boost the number of biopsies and seeding procedures, which currently require patients to travel to Adelaide or interstate.
This week, being Men’s Health Week, is a fantastic time to announce a prostate cancer nurse for the Limestone Coast. This is something that I have been working for with my local community for a very long time. To think our community was included in our government’s $23 million announcement is outstanding. The Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia will support not only a nurse in my community but in 24 other locations around Australia.
Finally, the message for all men this Men’s Health Week is: be active, get medical help if you don’t feel well, have a problem that won’t go away or you notice unusual symptoms. Don’t try to do everything on your own or bury your problems. Talk to your partner, talk to your friends, talk to your workmates and get the help you need.