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PROSTATE CANCER SUPPORT

Onkaparinga Group

South Australia

An affiliate Member of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia

www.pcsog.org

Mail us at:
PO Box 627
Noarlunga Centre,
SA 5168
Telephone:
John:(08) 8382 6671
Jules: (08) 8325 8100
Brian: (08) 8556 2012
jshields@aandr.com.au
Patron: Artie Ferguson

F

O

R

Y

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and Your Family

A member of

The Association of Prostate Cancer Support Groups (S.A.) Inc.

OUR GOLDEN RULE: We do not give medical advice, your GP, your Urologist and Allied Health Professionals are the only people who are legally qualified to give you medical advice.

We do however give you our wholehearted support.

SEPTEMBER 2005 NEWSLETTER

Meeting held in the Boardroom at

NOARLUNGA COMMUNITY HOSPITAL

On Wednesday September 7th from 6.30pm to 9.00pm.

Thank you to Noarlunga Community Hospital for allowing us to use the Boardroom for our meetings.

Thanks also to our Sponsors: Woodcroft Community Health Services, Port Noarlunga-Christies Beach RSL Sub Branch, and all who support our Group.

Chair: John Shields

Present: 18

Apologies: Bill, David, Jules and Walter.

Welcome: Tony.

Guest Speaker: Doug Ranson, Nutritionist, Noarlunga Health Services.

Doug gave us a very informative talk about Nutrition and Cancer, plus some Natural foods that may help to prevent Prostate Cancer.

Doug said that it is very difficult to give simple, “sure” recommendations about which foods reduce the risk of developing various Cancers because the cause of most Cancers is not well known and some may or may not be influenced by what we eat.

Researchers have to study large numbers of people over many years to try and get an idea what (if any) foods affect some Cancers.

The cause of most Cancers is not well known, some may have no relation to food, some may be influenced a lot by what people eat.

I was reading a story recently on the “web” about Nutrition, and it said that back in the early 1920`s Researchers were hopeful that it would not be too long before they could say definitely whether the foods that we eat have any influence on Cancer.   How long is not too long?

Doug`s talk generated a lot of discussion and it was obvious that we are all interested in knowing more about how the foods that we eat affect us.

Project Officer

I gave a brief report on the appointment of a Project Officer to establish Support Groups for other Cancers, especially Bowel and Lung Cancer.

The appointment is the result of a successful funding application to the Federal Government by WHO Healthy Cities Noarlunga in conjunction with Noarlunga Health Services.

It will be great to be part of a local Network as I firmly believe that Networking between Professionals and Consumer Groups is so important to the success of all Support Groups.

The appointment of a Project Officer is one of the most positive steps that I have seen taken in the area of Health and Support for a long, long time, not only here in the City of Onkaparinga but anywhere in Australia. Congratulations and thank you to all who were involved in obtaining the Grant.

Christmas BBQ.

Christmas will soon be upon us and Phyllis has reminded me that she would like to suggest that we have a BBQ before Christmas, perhaps at Old Noarlunga. Has anyone got any other suggestions for an informal get together during December?

Association meeting.

There will be a meeting of The Association of Prostate Cancer Support Groups SA Inc. on Sunday October 23rd at the home of Barry Oakley, Vice President PSA Adelaide Group.

On the Agenda is:

a. The Federal Government Grant distribution between our Groups.

b. S.A.C (Support and Advocacy Committee) Sydney Conference report.

c. State Grants.

d. P.S.A (Prostate South Australia)

e. Finance report.

New business.

Association Chairman Gary Bowes has sent me the Minutes of the Teleconference meeting of the PCFA – SAC - National meeting, plus the Minutes of the last Association meeting.  I will bring these to our next meeting for anyone who would like to read them, or get a copy of them.

Prostate Cancer Kit.

I will reprint item 7.1 from our last meeting.

We continually receive feedback from consumers and our Members that there is a lack of post treatment and Support information readily available.

The Committee believe our Association should develop a ‘kit’ comprising information on how to access incontinence pads, support groups, Prostate Cancer Nurses (for advice), mental health, erectile devices and a health diary. This kit would be given to men who have been treated for PC, before they leave hospital.

This information would be valuable for men and their partners who live outside the metropolitan area and find it difficult to gain information on their problems.

The committee agreed to submit an application to the State Government for a Grant to assist us in developing the ‘kit’

To maintain our information output to the community of SA, I hope we can be more successful this time.

I will keep you posted on our progress with the ‘kit’.

I am a strong believer of providing ‘best practice’ information to our Community, and having a ‘kit’ that has been compiled by people who have been there and done that, will be a valuable resource to have.

Support Group Resources.

Speaking about ‘kits’, another report from the PCFA-SAC Teleconference was that a Speakers Kit/Leaders Kit is in production and should be couriered by the end of the month and that advice would precede distribution.

Also a DVD “living with Prostate Cancer”, which was successfully launched at NSW Parliament House by a local member Mr Anthony Roberts. The DVD was made with the support of Novartis.

I look forward to the arrival of these excellent resources.

“Be a Man” Campaign

The PCFA “Be A Man” Campaign, proudly sponsored by Australian Pensioners Insurance Agency (APIA), was launched in Queensland on 17th June with a successful launch on Brisbane`s busy Queen Street Mall. Federal Shadow Treasurer Wayne Swan and his wife Kim, and Brisbane Lions Coach Leigh Mathews were just three of the high profile celebrities who were on hand to join APIA General Manager Kevin Patterson and PCFA chairman Patricia Watson. It was a wonderful turnout from Support Group members from across Queensland who travelled from far and wide to take part in this important launch. Planning is underway for the Adelaide launch and we look forward to a similar attendance from South Australian Support Group members, and the General Community. Petrol price hikes notwithstanding.

Adshell promotion.

100 bus shelters across Australia will have “Be A Man” posters.

Why not try for a million or two ,or three bus shelter posters.

Surely the Federal Government would see the value of investing some of our GST etc, in Men`s health, and work together with the State Governments to highlight Prostate Cancer and raise awareness.

National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month 2005 Proclamation. (USA)

 I have included a copy of this proclamation made by the President of the United States of America on the 29th August this year.

It seems like President George W Bush is serious about getting the message about Prostate Cancer out to every person in America

“During National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, we renew our commitment to fight Prostate Cancer by finding better ways to prevent, detect, and treat this deadly disease.”

I wonder if our Prime Minister talked about this with the President on his last visit to the U.S of A!!!

Information days.

Artie has mentioned the Healthy Ageing Expo at Noarlunga Leisure Centre and another day at Colonnades, and I have checked out a couple of other sites for us to discuss at the October meeting.

THE TALE OF SAND CRAB & MUD CRAB

(Old Blue Eyes would have liked this one)

Once there were two mates, Sand Crab and Mud Crab.

They wern`t just friends but real mates, they did everything together, they fished and swam and ate together. They enjoyed the good and suffered the bad, always together.

But one day as they fished out in a terrific storm Sand Crab was washed away and drowned.

Mud Crab was crushed without his lifelong mate, he did the same things, went to the same places but without Sand Crab it was never as good.

The depression he suffered affected Mud Crabs health and in six months time he died, wasted to a shell of his former self.

As with all good living blokes Mud Crab found himself ascending to the Pearly Gates and there to greet him was St Peter.

“G`day” he said, “can I come in?”

“What`s your name?” St Peter asked.”

“Mud Crab.”

“Mud Crab, - yes we have a reservation for you.”

Here`s your wings, halo and harp and that’s your cloud over there.

“Before I nick off to my cloud,” asked Mud Crab, “about six months ago did a bloke named Sand Crab show up here?”

“Sand Crab,” St Peter replied, “yes he runs the local Disco up here, it`s just behind that big cloud over there if you want to see him.”

Mud Crab lost no time getting reunited with his lost mate.

It was a tearful show at first but the boys soon got down to sinking some tubes over tales of good times past.

By the time the Disco closed both were quite tired and Mud Crab said goodnight and set off in search of his cloud to sleep it off until morning.

After a while he realised that he was hopelessly lost, and in no condition to find his cloud. Instead he found himself back at the Pearly Gates and St Peter was still there.

“Say Pete can you tell me again where my cloud is?” Mud Crab asked.

“I can do that but I have to tell you that you are out of uniform.” St Peter said.

“What do you mean?” Mud Crab asked.

“Well when you got here I issued you with a set of wings, a halo, and a harp, and you`re not carrying the harp. Where is it?”

The answer that Mud Crab gave, of course was.

“I LEFT MY HARP IN SAND CRABS DISCO”

From SA Angler, October/November, 1983 – By Phill Heitmann.

OUR NEXT MEETING

WEDNESDAY 5TH OCTOBER 2005, from 6.30pm TO 9.00pm

GUEST SPEAKER

LISA FOLEY (CANCER CARE CENTRE)

RELAXATION AND MEDITATION

I have just received this email from Pam Sandoe. SAC member, Sydney Adventist Hospital NSW. 

Chris Callanans journey.      Fighting Cancer with optimism.

This Melbourne Businessman has agreed to share his experience with JILL MARGO and the readers of this page. (Australian Financial Review)    jmargo@afr.com.au

He was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer earlier this month and is now preparing for surgery.

We will travel with him through his operation, his recovery, and hopefully his return to full health, after which we will keep in touch.

Chris Callinan has agreed to this in the belief that it may help others who are struggling to find their way through the fog of Prostate Cancer.

Chris Callinans rising PSA

Year 2000  [1.0], 2001 [1.1], 2002 [-], 2003 [-], June 2004 [2.7], December 2004 [3.5], August 2005 [5.1]

Eight Biopsy results. [four samples were clear of Cancer]

One had a Gleason score of 7 and three had a Gleason score of 6.

Early this week Chris Callanan will be lying on the operating table at Melbourne`s Epworth Hospital.   He has worked hard to get himself there and he believes that he is well prepared.

Although he is in good shape physically and feels as well as ever, he has spent the last two weeks in training for this operation by slimming down, avoiding alcohol, toning his Pelvic floor, exercising and getting eight hours sleep at night.

He knows what will happen in Theatre and how long it will take him to recover, but he doesn`t know what the Surgeon will find. At 57 Chris Callanan has been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer.

despite having no symptoms of the disease and despite reassurances that all was well, it was a diagnosis that he was expecting. Chris Callinan makes a habit of looking after himself.

He eats carefully, he`s fit, and whenever he feels a bit podgy he sheds the excess immediately.

He also takes regular health checks.

Back in 2000 he had his first PSA test. He was`nt aware that it stood for Prostate Specific Antigen but he was aware that it was a marker for Prostate Cancer.

When the score came back as 1, he happily put the issue out of his mind until the next general check up a year later. He scored a good result again, this time it was 1.1, and with nothing to worry about Chris Callinan got on with building his business.

He is co-owner of Executive Interim Management Australia which operates from offices in Melbourne and Sydney. It is part of EIM, an international interim management firm that provides Chief Executives and Senior Managers to it`s clients.

Over the past five years the Australian business has doubled and now turns over between   $8million and $10 million a year.

Chris Callinan has spent most of his business career in Melbourne where he and his four brothers were born and bred.  There is no trace of Prostate Cancer in his family. His late father, Sir Bernard Callinan, war hero and former President of the Melbourne Cricket Club, never had it, and neither do any close relatives. This added to the confidence he gained from his low PSA score in 2001.

In fact he felt so confident he declined the test the following two years.

But with media coverage and much general talk about Prostate Cancer, half way through 2004 he decided to take another test.  The result surprised him, it was 2.7. His family Doctor told him not to worry (since anything under 4 is normal), but agreed to be re-tested in six months time.

This sudden rise unsettled Chris Callinan and he took to searching for information on Google where, among many entries, one article took his attention.

It was about the pace of change in PSA

It suggested that the speed with which PSA rises in the year before a Cancer diagnosis is more accurate in predicting the seriousness of the Cancer than the PSA numbers themselves.

When in December 2004 his result was 3.5 he was very concerned.

He told the Doctor about the article on the internet and asked if he should have a biopsy.

The Doctor gave me one of those little smiles and said there was no need for a biopsy because 3.5 was not a major problem. He argued that PSA was an inexact measure and anyway a biopsy could not only miss the Cancer but carried a risk of infection too.

So he gave me a rectal exam and told me not to worry. But I was worried, I was 1, then 1.1, then 2.7, then 3.5. I just did not like the trend. His next result was 5.1 and he decided to see a Urologist.

“I FEEL I CAN DEAL WITH THE CONSEQUENCES AND RETURN TO GOOD SHAPE”

His first thought was his old school mate Tony Costello, the Professor of Urology at Melbourne University. Although they had been through Xavier College and played in the first XV111, they had not seen each other very much subsequently and he felt a bit awkward asking.

Nevertheless, he got Professor Costello`s mobile number from another old schoolmate and decided he would call, describe what had happened and ask to be steered in the right direction.

Professor Costello answered the call, recognised him immediately, listened to the story and when

Chris Callanan said that he wanted to be referred to a Urologist, Professor Costello said, you have got one, and booked him in for a biopsy a few days later.

For Chris Callanan it was a relief, not only to be in the hands of an expert, but to be treated by someone familiar with whom he could relax and even share a laugh.

During the Biopsy, Professor Costello warned him that it would hurt and then told him that it was payback for the time he stole his ruler in fourth grade. Naturally, I vainly protested my innocence.

When it was over, Professor Costello said that he would call the next day with the results.

It was a long day and when, that evening, his mobile phone did eventually ring I was only 100 metres from home and pulled over and listened carefully. I then pulled into the driveway knowing that there was a family dinner that night with Mary my wife, and our three adult children. I knew I was in trouble but I had not thought about what I would say.

When I got to the front door, the dog came running to announce my arrival, and as soon as I walked into the family room, Mary defused the situation by asking aloud, did Tony call with the results? Yes, the news is not good. Everyone stopped. But it`s not tragic either.

The bad news everybody is, that I`ve got Prostate Cancer. The good news is that I have got it early and we can do something about it, and that is what we are going to do.

Dinner was spent in quiet discussion, with me telling them all that I know about the disease.

The next day Mary and I went to Professor Costello`s rooms to discuss options.

The Cancer was “nasty” but early and active treatment was recommended.

In Professor Costello`s opinion this was not a wait and watch situation.

When he explained the eight biopsy results my response was plain. If I`ve got that, I don`t want it.

The choice was not too hard. I could have the Cancer radiated or removed.

I chose surgery. A Radical Prostatectomy that would remove the entire gland. But instead of the standard open surgery. I opted for the Robotic version, which is similar to keyhole surgery and at which Professor Costello is an expert.

A few days later we met the practice nurse who counselled us about pre and post - operative issues and the outlook for the months ahead.

With the operation due on September 26th I began preparing myself.

When you get a diagnosis like this there is a way that people look at you and take their cues from you. If you are okay with it, then they are usually okay.

I`m trying to plan for any eventuality. My best outcome is that all of the Cancer is removed, my PSA stays at 0, and I return to physical fitness on all parameters. I`m confident that incontinence issues can be fixed. As for potential impotence, we`ll deal with that as we both reckon the priority is to be around. The worst case is that I go through all this and find that the Cancer has spread.

It will be like copping a jab and then getting a right cross. But then I`ll deal with that too.

People close to me have faced serious Cancer and I`ll do what they have done, move to acceptance quickly, be diligent about treatment and keep the resolve to beat it.

I know that I will wake up feeling like I`ve been hit by a truck, but with this thing taken out I feel I can deal with the consequences and return to good shape. I regard myself as blessed to have someone like Tony Costello treat me the way he has and have him actually operate on me using best practice, and with my families support I feel able to give it my best shot.

 I will give you updates as they come to hand, courtesy of Pam Sandoe, thanks Pam.