Lyle Roberts at the CQ Prostate Cancer Support and Awareness Group's Big Aussie Barbie at Rockhampton Hospital.
Lyle Roberts at the CQ Prostate Cancer Support and Awareness Group's Big Aussie Barbie at Rockhampton Hospital. Allan Reinikka ROK060917aprostat

Survivor relieved to see life-saving treatment in Rocky

LYLE Roberts was shocked when he heard the words "prostate cancer” come out of his doctors mouth.

The then 78-year-old wasn't expecting to be diagnosed with a serious case of cancer when he just went in for a check-up.

Before he knew it he was off to Maroochydore to receive treatment as Rockhampton, back in 2012, had no facilities to treat Lyle.

After 39 treatments of radiation and eight weeks away, the Rocky local was given the all clear.

Four years on and Lyle is going strong, overjoyed to see Rocky can treat prostate cancer locally.

September is prostate awareness month so yesterday Lyle and the CQ prostate cancer support and awareness group joined with the Rockhampton Hospital to raise funds for research.

Prostate cancer specialist nurse Judy Cornick headed the fundraiser which took on the form of a "Big Barbie” where all money raised from selling sausages on bread was donated.

Judy, who was the first specialist prostate nurse in Rockhampton, is among just 29 Australia wide.

The number of specialist nurses is set to climb to 43 next year thanks to government funding, which Judy says is crucial to the treatment and recovery of patients.

"I have been nursing for many years and have been cancer care co-ordinator for seven years,” Judy said.

"This prostate cancer nurse role had been a part of the Prostate Cancer Foundation Australian nursing service. Rockhampton was lucky enough to host the position for three years and I was the first prostate cancer specialist here.

"I'm four years into my role and it's now a permanent role here which is fabulous for the men of CQ.”

Judy said men all over Central Queensland made their way into Rockhampton for treatment, saving them from travelling to big cities such as Brisbane.

Judy Cornick, Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse.
Judy Cornick, Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse. Allan Reinikka ROK060917aprostat

"They can come from anywhere in Central Queensland and their first diagnosis is often done here. Then from there depending on what their particular diagnosis is they will have surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or hormone treatment,” she explained.

Judy said the cancer facilities and education on the cancer had really stepped up in the last two years in Rockhampton.

"It's great because I can help support men, their family and their partners, being able to pass on the information and education is wonderful,” she said.

Judy said the key message to take away from prostate awareness month was education.

She encouraged men to talk to their doctors about it and make themselves aware as cancer doesn't discriminate.

"The youngest gentleman with prostate cancer (in Rockhampton Hospital) has been 39 but around the late sixties is the most common age of diagnosis with a 1 in 5 chance of men being diagnosed with prostate cancer by the age of 85.

"Some of the side effects of treatment are quite debilitating for men so it needs particular education and support to get them through that.”

MORE ABOUT PROSTATE CANCER

  • To make a donation to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia head to pcfa.org.au or call 1800 220 099
  • CQ Prostate Cancer Support and Awareness Group meets on the third Tuesday of every month at the community health building at 7.30pm
  • For more info contact 0438 363 424


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