The leaders of a new Mandurah prostate cancer support group believe awareness was given “a million dollars’ worth” of good publicity due to an ill-timed joke by Julia Gillard’s partner.
Deputy group leader Allan Sudholz believes Tim Mathieson’s recent comments about screening were in poor taste but “the best thing to happen for prostate cancer”.
“It was slightly distasteful in one point, I would not single out any sex or race but it was a million bucks of publicity that didn’t cost us a cent,” he said.
“As an ambassador for men’s health he could have said it a little better, but breast cancer gets a lot of support and prostate cancer gets nothing.
“Men just want to have the same privileges as the ladies, as far as breast and prostate cancer is concerned, we may never catch up.”
Mr Sudholz and acting group leader Margaret Amm have been at the helm of the Mandurah group for two monthly meetings, as it bids to gain a foothold.
Ms Amm, who also leads a Fremantle support group, said she was hopeful initial small attendances would grow.
“Rockingham will eventually need its own group, but we decided on Mandurah and the Peel region to cover South Yunderup and Pinjarra,” she said. “We’re also looking for a permanent group leader — full training will be provided by the PCFA.
“Somebody who’s running a support group needs to be able to sit there, listen to people, and overall be there for the benefit of its members.”
Mr Sudholz said he had struck up great camaraderie and friendships from attending support group.
“I went to a support group before the operation and as part of my journey, it was very important,” he said.
“Men can learn so much more about the symptoms afterwards, prior to the operation, and can have cup of tea and a biscuit and talk to men about what’s ahead of them.”
The group meets on the first Monday of each month at the Mandurah Senior Citizens’ Centre, 41 Ormsby Terrace, and all are welcome to attend.
For more information about the group, call Ms Amm on 0419 195 549.
To learn more about prostate cancer, visit www.pcfa.org.au or call 1800 220 099.