New probing delivery for prostate biopsy at Ballarat Health Services Base Hospital

SUPPORT: Male Bag member Peter Stevens and prostate cancer specialist nurse Gay Corbett say an extra probe will help diagnose more men sooner. Picture: Kate Healy

SUPPORT: Male Bag member Peter Stevens and prostate cancer specialist nurse Gay Corbett say an extra probe will help diagnose more men sooner. Picture: Kate Healy

MORE men across the Grampians region can have access to a prostate biopsy machine that is far less invasive, with almost no pain or risk of infection, compared to traditional biopsy methods.

Male Bag Foundation riders have delivered funding for an extra probe for the transperineal grid prostate biopsy system they helped bring to Ballarat Health Services Base Hospital in February.

BHS has made 120 biopsies on men but the probe requires a 3-4 cleaning process, so the extra probe will allow double the men to undergo the procedure in Ballarat each day.

The machine, which is the value of a luxury vehicle, is the only one of its kinds in an Australian public hospital.

Grampians prostate cancer specialist nurse Gay Corbett said the extra probe will means a great chance more men will be diagnosed earlier. More lives could be saved.

“There is a waiting list...Men have been more interested to come and have their biopsy or get treatment sooner,” Ms Corbett said.

“The first check is a simple blood test now and even if you have to have a biopsy, there’s not all that pain any more. Hopefully this continues to allay fears. Men in rural areas are presenting with more advanced cases of prostate cancer...hopefully this machine will help change that and men will be diagnosed earlier.”

The Male Bag Foundation, known for promoting men’s health via road trips on old postman motorbikes, donated a further $9000 for the probe this week. Male Bag members take pride in the fact every cent they raise is donated to prostate cancer research or treatment.

AFL legend and prostate cancer survivor David Parkin is a Male Bag ambassador. He was present at the machine’s initial launch and in delivering money for an extra probe. He said the return trip was so worthwhile to see what the money has achieved.

“To think we are tangibly hearing about the difference it has made, and can get a sense and feel for it here in Ballarat, there is a real pride in what we are doing,” Mr Parkin said. 

Ballarat businessman Peter Stevens, a close friend of Mr Parkin, said the city’s businesses had offered incredible support. BHS has also received donations from sporting and community groups across western Victoria, including Premier Speedway in Warrnambool, and added interest from new men’s health initiatives.

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