Plates raise funds for prostate cancer

Special blue number plates available from the RTA are raising money for prostate cancer.
Special blue number plates available from the RTA are raising money for prostate cancer.

TODAY isn't just the last day of September; it is also the last day of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month for 2011.

Sadly, every week in Australia almost 400 men are told by their doctor they have prostate cancer - that's 50% higher than new cases of breast cancer.

Money is one aspect of helping men get through this life-threatening illness - support is the other.

Here in the Valley, the Clarence Valley Prostate Cancer Support Group has offered friendship, advice and support to men and their partners.

For years, people like Malcolm Eggins, Jim Wood, John Stacey and others kept the group going despite their own health problems.

Due to aging and the declining health of its committee, the group has virtually folded.

This is despite spirited attempts to attract new members to take on executive positions.

On the brighter side, there is still much going on in NSW to help find a cure for prostate cancer.

Coinciding with Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, NSW Roads Minister Duncan Gay announced the continuation of an initiative to raise funds for prostate cancer research.

The "blue number plate" partnership with the RTA has been extended to the end of June, 2012.

It works by the RTA selling two different types of blue number plates - blue plates and prestige blue plates.

The RTA gives a percentage of the proceeds to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA).

"After a successful first year which saw more than $8000 raised for prostate cancer, the RTA is delighted to extend the partnership," Mr Gay said.

"It's fantastic to see how much NSW motorists have really taken to the idea of blue plates and supporting the fight against prostate cancer."

Mr Gay said $15 from the sale of blue plates and $50 from the prestige blue plates was donated to the PCFA.

"Money donated from plate sales contributes to research into the causes, detection, diagnosis and improved treatment of prostate cancer and helps raise community awareness, thereby encouraging earlier detection and more effective treatment of the disease," he said.

Meanwhile, respected cancer epidemiologist Professor Bruce Armstrong has called for an expert body to be established to make decisions on how a national program of prostate cancer screening should be regulated.

"It's entirely reasonable to say there is screening going on, but it's not done under any policy or guidelines or anything else; it's just happening," he said.

Topics:  cancer doctors health prostate cancer awareness month

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