WESTERN Victoria’s men will have access to a new biopsy machine that is less intrusive, less painful and lowers subsequent infection rates for prostate diagnosis in Ballarat. And a key part of delivery the much-needed technology has been a bunch of blokes on old postman motorbikes.
Male Bag Foundation patron and prostate cancer survivor David Parkin has travelled extensively in the motorbike convoys across regional Australia promoting men’s health awareness. On the advice of Ballarat Health Services and urologists, the AFL legend is told a transperineal grid biopsy machine should make a dramatic difference for men’s health in regional Victoria.
BHS Base Hospital will unveil the machine, the first in a public regional hospital, on Friday afternoon.
Mr Parkin said he could only speak from personal experience, the men he has met on his journeys and the undeniably dramatic higher rate of prostate cancer deaths in regional Australia.
“Men are hopeless. Most think they are bulletproof and I think probably men in regional Victoria and farmers on the land have a mentality that they’ll just keep getting through all right,” Mr Parkin said. “We haven’t been anywhere near as good as women have with breast cancer awareness in raising money, research and McGrath Breast Care Nurses.”
Mr Parkin said his own biopsy, through the bowel, caused great pain afterwards. Diagnosed in 2009, Mr Parkin now hoped the new machine would help Ballarat public patients avoid a similar experience.
Male Bag became involved with BHS via Mr Parkin’s long-time friend and Ballarat businessman Peter Stevens, who learned of BHS’ struggle to obtain such a team via a prostate cancer survivors’ meeting. Mr Stevens said urologists confirmed existing treatment at BHS caused needless pain and infection for patients, some who would not return for ongoing treatment.
The Male Bag Ride started three years ago with a 12-day ride from Perth to Melbourne. A Tasmanian road trip was the second annual ride’s focus. Riders hit the road in western and central Victoria last year with Peter Stevens Motorworld supplying support vehicles.
Male Bag is broadening its reach with a march in Melbourne next month and new functions to continue promoting prostate cancer awareness.
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