Jill and Brian Costello from ManUp! Australia are on a mission to save lives. The Queensland duo, both cancer survivors, believe education and awareness are critical in the fight against prostate cancer. The Costellos have spent the past week touring Western Queensland in a loaned ute, with the mission to visit rural community groups, businesses, and local councils to educate them about the devastating disease.
“Prostate cancer survival rates are stacked heavily against those living in rural and regional communities, and it’s time country Australia ‘man’s up’ for men’s health,” says Mrs Costello.
She says their enterprise—QantasLink It’s A Bloke Thing Prostate Cancer Roadshow—focuses on early detection, treatment, and ongoing support for men living with prostate cancer and their families.
With significant financial support from the Toowoomba-based It’s A Bloke Thing Foundation (IABT), the Roadshow has reached more than 15,000 people in 65 communities across Queensland including Thargomindah, Charleville, Quilpie, St George, Pittsworth, Miles, Dalby and Toowoomba.
The IABT Roadshow is the second collaborative initiative between ManUp! and the IABT Foundation this year. “We have both helped fund the region’s first ever prostate cancer specialist nurse, who is based at Toowoomba Hospital and St Andrew’s Toowoomba Hospital, and spends one day in the catchment area of about 170,000 men, which includes Toowoomba, Kingaroy, Cunnamulla, Charleville, Quilpie, Moree, Tenterfield and Taroom,” says Mrs Costello.
2016 IABT Foundation chairman John Wagner says the committee felt it was important to support their local and surrounding communities.
“Our goal is to break down the walls and get men talking about their health with their partners, families and friends. Men in rural communities don’t have the same access to services and we hope both the roadshow and nursing program will contribute to helping save lives,” says Mr Wagner.
The It’s A Bloke Thing Foundation Luncheon will be held at Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport on August 9, 2016.
Prostate cancer information:
- Prostate cancer accounts for 30% of all cancers diagnosed in Australian men every year. It is the second most common cause of cancer-related death, after lung cancer.
- While prostate cancer effects both young and old, one in eight men could have prostate cancer by age 75. One in five could have it by age 85.
- Compared to other cancers, prostate cancer has one of the highest five-year survival rates—94%—after diagnosis.
- Last year almost 3,500 men died from prostate cancer in Australia.
By Erin Ibbott
Image supplied by It’s A Bloke Thing Foundation