25 August 2020
Australian men and families impacted by prostate cancer will be backing two of the country’s best reinsmen this September, with John Caldow and Mick Bellman riding as ambassadors for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
Harness Racing Victoria will donate $500 to Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia for every winning drive by Caldow and Bellman, under a partnership to boost prostate cancer research, awareness and support.
PCFA CEO, Professor Jeff Dunn AO, said the initiative would help provide a pacer for getting in front of the disease.
“About 1 in 6 Australian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer by age 85, and yet 70 per cent of Australians don’t know the signs and symptoms,” he said.
“With a growing Australian population and increasing life expectancy, the number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer will continue to increase.
“Our partnership with HRV will help get us on track to improve awareness of the disease and raise understanding of options for early detection and treatment, while supporting Australian men and families with the long-term impacts of their illness.”
Caldow and Bellman will wear PCFA silks on every steer throughout September.
HRV CEO Dayle Brown welcomed the partnership extension between the trots and PCFA.
“We are proud to again partner with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia to help raise funds and awareness to fight this disease,” he said.
“It is important all men understand the risks of prostate cancer and I thank our ambassadors, Michael Bellman and John Caldow, for agreeing to promote the PCFA message during September.”
According to the AIHW, prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian men and the second most commonly diagnosed cancer overall, with about 16,700 men diagnosed each year.
“Tragically, more than 3100 Australian men will die of the disease this year, leaving families and communities in grief,” said PCFA’s CEO, Professor Dunn.
“While prostate cancer has one of the highest cancer survival rates, the lifelong impacts of treatment can be devastating for many men, and men impacted by prostate cancer also experience a 70 per cent increased risk of suicide.”
Commonwealth Department of Health data has found while men account for three-quarters of deaths from suicide in Australia, an estimated 72% of males impacted by mental illness don't seek help.
“Every kilometre we cover on the track or in training this September will bring us closer to a world where prostate cancer can be effectively treated, where side effects can be overcome, and where all men have access to life-saving care and support,” he said.
“All of us know someone who has been impacted by prostate cancer. Our partnership with HRV is a great way of giving back and reaching out.”
By 2040 it is predicted there will be 372,000 men living with or beyond prostate cancer in Australia, representing a 76 per cent increase and the greatest number of men or women diagnosed with any single cancer.
“Of concern to the growing burden of prostate cancer on the Australian community, men with a family history of prostate cancer have double the risk of being diagnosed, and men in regional and rural areas of Australia face a 24 per cent higher risk of death – investment in awareness is vital to ensure our drivers and reinsmen don’t die before their time,” Prof Dunn said.
Punters who want to support PCFA this September can also take part in The Long Run, an awareness and fundraising challenge inviting men and women to walk, run, or wheel 72km during the month.
For more information, go to www.thelongrun.org.au.
HRV: Michael Howard 03 8378 0286 or MHoward@hrv.org.au.
PCFA: Anne Savage 0417 709 869 or Anne.Savage@pcfa.org.au.