Community, Health Services,

Prostate checks are simpler than you think

Screening for prostate cancer is a lot simpler than it used to be and it all starts with talking about risk factors with a doctor.

Six GP clinics across Gippsland are getting the conversation started to mark ‘Movember’, the international campaign raising awareness about men’s physical and mental health.

The clinics in Traralgon, Sale, Drouin and Wonthaggi have offered to bulk bill one prostate screening appointment for each patient who mentions the Movember campaign during November.

The screening opportunity is being supported by the Gippsland Primary Health Network (GPHN) and promoted by Latrobe Regional Health (LRH) which is putting men’s health under the spotlight as part of Movember.

Gippsland Primary Health Network Acting Chief Executive Officer, Angela Jacob, said avoidable cancer death rates (average per 100,000 people) in Gippsland were at 35.9 per cent, significantly higher than Victoria at 28.2 per cent and Australia at 28.8.

“It is important to raise awareness of the importance of screening for cancer, especially prostate cancer for men,” Mrs Jacob said. “We are working closely with general practitioners as we know they are vital to increasing cancer screening participation rates.

“Finding cancer at an early stage increases the chances of successful treatment and improved survival. I encourage all men to talk about having a prostate check with their trusted GP or nurse.”

Dr Tunji Onibokun from Mercy Family Medical Clinic in Traralgon urged men to be more aware of prostate cancer and their health in general.

“One in seven Aussie men get prostate cancer,” he said. “There can be life after prostate cancer. The prerequisite is early detection.”

LRH Information and Communications Technology Manager, William Buckley was the first to take up the invitation for prostate screening with Dr Tunji.

“It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. After having a blood pressure check, we talked about my health generally and assessed any risks such as my family history with cancer and my age,” William said.

“Dr Tunji explained the process for a prostate check, a simple blood test initially to work out whether a physical examination or scan is required. If the result of the blood test is okay and my risk factors are minimal, then further tests are not required for now.”

If you don’t have a regular GP, consider making a prostate screening appointment at:

  • Flourish Medical Group, 2/12 Deakin Street, Traralgon, phone 03) 5174 6711
  • Mercy Family Medical Clinic, 52 Grey Street, Traralgon, phone (03) 6144 7575
  • Inglis Medical Centre, 12 Inglis Street, Sale, phone 03) 5143 7900
  • Drouin Family Medical Centre, 19 Grant Street, Drouin, phone (03) 5642 6908
  • Civic Park Consulting Suites, 79 Young Street, Drouin, phone (03) 5625 3355
  • Wonthaggi Medical Group, 42 Murray Street, Wonthaggi , phone (03) 5672 1333