With Father's Day coming up there's no better time to get your dad to start thinking about his health - it could end up being the best gift you have ever given him. Recently, Professor Jon Emery from the University of Melbourne visited Perth to present a lecture on helping men find cancer early as part of our free Cancer Update Series.
Encouragingly, nearly 400,000 Australians are now living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis. However, cancer is becoming more common because we are living longer - diagnoses are projected to increase by 40% over the next 20 years. In general, men visit their GP less and neglect their health more than women, which is why it’s essential that we encourage conversations around helping men participate in essential screening tests to find cancer early.
The lecture explored topics such as:
• How we can diagnose cancer earlier?
• Which cancer tests for men are worth having? (Weighing up the benefits of detecting cancer early against the potential consequences of a positive diagnosis)
• Which symptoms should men look out for?
Professor Emery focused on the most common causes of cancer in men, including prostate, melanoma, bowel and lung cancer, discussing the current screening options available for such cancers and the benefits and considerations associated with such screening.
You can view the full lecture here:
Some key findings from Professor Emery’s lecture include:
• Only 35% of Aussie men are completing the bowel cancer test – compared with 40% of women.
• The simple test detects small about blood in bowel movement.
• A positive test does not mean you have bowel cancer, but rather that you need further testing.
• The test should be completed every 2 years after the age of 50 – using the test improves your chance of surviving bowel cancer by about 30%
• It is the most important cancer screening for men - read more information about screening here.
- Some prostate cancers would never cause men any harm if left untreated, others are life-threatening. Working out which prostate cancer will turn out to be a killer is fraught, with doctors as yet unable to differentiate the slow growing from the aggressive.
- A simple blood test can now detect prostate cancer and is more effective than a physical exam.
- 90% chance of living long term with prostate cancer when caught early.
- Discuss your family history with your doctor – a brother or father increases your risk, particularly if they were diagnoses before the age of 60
More info about our Cancer Update Series
Our Cancer Update Series aims to bring new research findings to our community and shine a light on important cancer issues. The Series includes free public lectures, professional education sessions and media interviews. You can find information about upcoming events here or on our Facebook page here.