Charity encourages MotoGP™ fans to 'Get Checked'

The Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) is honoured to announce Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) as the Official Charity of the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2018 for a second consecutive year. 

With 20,000 men diagnosed every year, and one in seven men likely to be affected by prostate cancer, PCFA is encouraging fans, their families and friends at the event this year to ‘Get Checked’ and talk with their GP.  

PCFA CEO Jane Endacott is thrilled to have the support of the AGPC in helping raise awareness amongst MotoGP™ fans. 

“Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian men, and the cause resonates with many fans who head down to the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit each year,” Ms Endacott said.

“Regular health check-ups are vital in beating the disease. Early detection is crucial in effectively fighting prostate cancer. Men over the age of 50, or 40 if they have a family history of prostate cancer, need to talk with their GP about prostate health.”

Carla D’Amico, who is a specialist prostate cancer nurse at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre, says there is a lot that can be done to encourage Australian men to be vigilant about their health.

“There are numerous resources available that provide men and their families with vital information about prostate cancer,” Ms D’Amico said.

“Knowing your risk and actively monitoring your health is so important. Prostate cancer does not show symptoms in its early stages, so it is up to men and their doctors to regularly assess the risk.

“The best place to start is speaking to your GP and initiating the discussion about testing. 

“Being diagnosed with prostate cancer can be very overwhelming and there are often other factors, like mental health, that come into play following a diagnosis.

“My role as a specialist prostate cancer nurse helps men and their families to feel supported and hopefully make the treatment process less stressful.” 

James Doulis was diagnosed with prostate cancer two weeks before Christmas in 2017.

As a motorbike racing enthusiast, James believes the partnership between AGPC and PCFA will help trigger Australian men to have a conversation about their own prostate cancer risk.

“Even though I have a nursing background and have been trained in palliative care, I still went into shock when I received my diagnosis,” Mr Doulis said

“Nothing can prepare you to hear your name and the word ‘cancer’ in the same sentence.

“Thanks to my GP, I had the necessary blood tests to detect my cancer and I was able to be treated fairly quickly. 

“Men need to realise that a simple blood test can save your life. We all need to take the responsibility and have the conversation with your GP about testing.” 

James formed a close bond with specialist nurse Carla following his diagnosis. He credits her support to helping him navigate his treatment process. 

“I helped care for my mother during her own cancer treatment and unfortunately she didn’t have the support of a specialist nurse,” he said.

“I would have had a completely different experience if I didn’t have extra support. Carla made an enormous impact on my treatment experience and helped to deliver complex information in manageable bites.”

Australian Grand Prix Corporation CEO Andrew Westacott is proud to partner with PCFA for a second year and believes the cause is an incredibly important one for MotoGP™ fans. 

“We look forward to supporting PCFA at the event this year, and we will be promoting the powerful message for fans, their friends and families to ‘Get Checked’ and raise awareness about this health issue,” he said. 

PCFA staff and volunteers will be collecting donations and selling merchandise across the event weekend. 

All funds raised at the event will support PCFA’s awareness, nursing and research programs.

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