Tackling Testicular Cancer

Tackling Testicular Cancer

Friday 4 September 2015


Young men should regularly “check their tackle” Australian Medical Association (WA) President Dr Michael Gannon told students at Trinity College this week.


Speaking to a group of more than 300 Year 11 and Year 12 students, Dr Gannon said men all too often forgot their own health.


Appearing with special guests from the Socceroos, including superstar Tim Cahill, Dr Gannon said it was important that all men regularly considered their health.


“The tragic reality is that of those boys here today, maybe three of you will be diagnosed with testicular cancer.”


Every year nearly 100 men in Western Australia are diagnosed with testicular cancer. The great majority (about 95 per cent) are successfully treated by surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy, especially when detected early.


“Women are very good at looking after their health, they are very good for going to see their GP, turning up for cervical cancer screening, to have conversations about family planning, talking about diet and exercise. They are much better about health promotion than men,” Dr Gannon said.


“One of the great successes of health in Australia and around the world is a reduction in deaths from Cervix Cancer. Australian women have the lowest rate of death from Cervix Cancer on the planet because we have a system whereby they go and see their GP on a regular basis and have a screening test.”


“But there is no similar test for testicular cancer for me. For that we have to rely on self-examination,” Dr Gannon told the audience.


“It is vital that we learn what is normal, so that we know when there is something abnormal and we can present to our GP,” he said.


Dr Gannon said that we were extremely lucky to live in a society which has such a great health system.


“But at the same time we have to take responsibility for our own health and to seek assistance if we detect anything unusual about our bodies,” he said.


“We might talk about a tackle on the Soccer pitch, but in this case we are talking about your own ‘tackle’ – and you need to check it regularly for any abnormalities.”


Dr Gannon was invited to Trinity College by the DT38 Foundation, which was set up by West Ham United Football Club and the Tombides family following the tragic death of Dylan Tombides.


Born and raised in Perth, Dylan was a prodigious footballing talent who managed to do what many aspiring soccer players dream of – to play in the English Premier League.


Sadly, Dylan was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the age of 17, and after a brave three year battle, passed away in April 2014.


Dr Gannon said the campaign was key to battling testicular cancer and promoting good testicular health.


“The tragic death of Dylan highlights how important self-examination is,” Dr Gannon said.


“However, it has the highest cure rate among all cancers, and is very manageable with early detection.


“I would like to congratulate his family and friends for speaking out on this key health issue,” he said.

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"It is my hope that we can tackle the challenges our profession faces, united as one. If we dislike our working hours, our pay, gender inequality or low training opportunities, we can change these together. As a nurse in my previous life, I know that when a profession stands as one, people listen."
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