ON A MISSION: Calliope man, Tom Dowell, has made it his mission to teach men about the dangers of prostate cancer, after being been diagnosed with stage 4 advanced prostate cancer at the age of 50.
ON A MISSION: Calliope man, Tom Dowell, has made it his mission to teach men about the dangers of prostate cancer, after being been diagnosed with stage 4 advanced prostate cancer at the age of 50. Matt Taylor GLA140118CANC

Calliope cancer sufferer's mission to help save lives

IN TWO years time, Calliope man, Tom Dowell has a two per cent chance of being alive.

It's the reality confronting the 50-year-old who was diagnosed with stage 4 advanced prostate cancer less than two months ago.

Mr Dowell may not see his 53rd birthday because of the aggressive cancer and says he's now focussed on helping other people and appreciating the small things in life.

"I'm trying to enjoy each day as much as possible," he said.

"Things aren't important to me any more, I was always concerned about how I would afford this or if I wanted to get that done.

"It's just being with people, sharing moments and enjoying the sunset.

"I thought as I got older, I'd try to stay healthy and eat the right foods and just enjoy life as much as I could.

"I wasn't expecting this."

The cancer has now spread to his spine, hips and pelvis and Mr Dowell has made it his mission to educate other men about the dangers of avoiding regular check ups.

"With men, when there's a problem down there, you don't want to go there," Mr Dowell said.

"I always thought it was a glove, but I've since learned that's not actually it. You can just get a blood test.

"I think a lot of men don't know that...I didn't know that.

"I don't have regrets or the power of hindsight.

"I didn't have the information, but now that I do I can use it to help others."

In Australia more than 3,000 men die of prostate cancer every year, making it more deadly than breast cancer.

The risk of diagnosis increases with age as well as previous family history.

Before any need for a rectal examination, prostate cancer is initially detected with a blood test.

Mr Dowell is adopted and wasn't aware of his family history. He says if he'd known he would have started checks earlier in life.

"A lot of men live their whole life with prostate cancer and die of natural causes, because it's so easily manageable," he said.

"I felt like other men, I just really didn't want to go there.

"I think if more men knew that and the ease of just finding out, they'd get it done."

To have your prostate checked, contact your local GP.



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