September 4, 2008

Blue Rowers in Prostate Cancer Crusade

By BRENNAN, Nicola

Some young Aussie rowers have been brought in to help raise awareness of prostate cancer.

The University of Sydney rowers, in town for Sunday's Great Race, painted their faces blue and joined Prostate Cancer Foundation Waikato's Peter Forman to launch Blue September in Hamilton's city centre yesterday.

Blue September is all about getting the word out about prostate cancer. Every year about 600 men in New Zealand die of the disease.

"We are doing this because most men, unlike women, don't care about their health," Mr Forman said.

"Men are in denial. They are hopeless. They are more likely to get a warrant of fitness on their car than on their health."

The launch of Blue September comes as one of Hamilton's most colourful former church leaders has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Father Ian Hanley, former Dean of Waikato at Hamilton's Cathedral Church of St Peter, underwent exploratory surgery in the Loma Linda University Hospital in California last week.

He was discharged the next day and is now awaiting biopsy results to see if the cancer has spread and how treatable it is.

Fr Hanley - whose ring- covered fingers, spiky and bleached hair, tongue stud and pierced ears made him a colourful minister for Anglicans - said he had received strong support from New Zealand.

"To all the Waikato folk who remember and prayed for me, a big thank you," he said.

Fr Hanley, who was also easy to spot on the streets of Hamilton on his Harley motorbike, said his experience was a warning to all men.

"Prostate cancer in men is very common, but the earlier it is diagnosed the better the results.

"I would encourage all men to make sure that at 40 or older they get regular yearly checks from their doctors."


(c) 2008 Waikato Times. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.