Cancer survivor Kevin Wilkinson isn’t afraid to shed a tear when talking about men’s health – it helped save his life and he hoped it can do the same for others.
The Carroll resident was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017 after a routine check up with his doctor.
Mr Wilkinson said his cancer detection was completely out of the blue as there were no indications about the ticking time bomb growing inside his body.
“Thank God we found it before it spread,” he told men’s health magazine The Male.
“I had no symptoms, it was the shock of my life.
“That’s one of the main questions I get asked by other blokes – ‘what symptoms did you have before your blood test’ and I say ‘none.’”
Access to treatment proved difficult as not only did Kevin face long waits but lengthy commutes as well.
He endured long journeys to Newcastle for specialist treatment before making the daily trip to Tamworth for ongoing radiotherapy.
“The travel was difficult,” Mr Wilkinson said.
He later volunteered to undertake several drug treatment trials which featured their own challenges. But his determination to beat the disease paid off with the recent ‘all clear’ given by doctors.
“It was elation,” Kevin said of being told the good news.
He is now on a mission to create more awareness about prostate cancer and tell everyone who will listen about the importance of regular health check ups.
According to the Cancer Council, it is estimated that more than 24,200 males were diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2022. The average age at diagnosis is 69 years old.
Australian government health figures show prostate cancer is by far the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia. It features more than double the number of cases to the next highest (melanoma of the skin).
In 2022, it was estimated that men had a 1 in 6 (or 17 per cent) risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer by the age of 85. According to the latest data available, it was also estimated to become the fourth most common cause of death from cancer in 2022 (3507 deaths).