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Govt’s cancer battle leaves men out in the cold

Filed under: Men's Health — JohnPotter @ 11:01 am Wed 9th March 2005

Press Release: United Future NZ Party

Men facing prostate cancer are strangely absent from the Government’s new cancer initiative despite it claiming 500 lives a year, United Future MP and Men’s Advocacy Network facilitator Marc Alexander said today.

“Its all very well to fork out $13.2 million for breast screen age extension and $2.2 million to stamp out smoking but why isn’t anything been done to screen men for prostate cancer?” Mr Alexander asked. “No one begrudges the treatment of any illness, but when a condition that does massive damage is conspicuous by its absence from Government thinking, we need to ask why.

“The fact is that around 30 percent of all male cancers are prostate; there are 2500 new cases a year; with well over 500 men dying each year from this disease. The best comparison? In 2000, cervical cancer claimed 66 lives; prostate cancer took 594 lives that year – look at the money and emphasis given to it as opposed to prostate cancer.”

Mr Alexander said he didn’t begrudge once cent being given to other conditions, but illnesses that hit men needed to be brought up to that level of commitment.

“It looks suspiciously like the silence of men and the lack of past advocacy has meant that too little too late is being done. There is treatment, but without a national strategy too often sufferers end up in a wooden box.”


  1. I’m dissapointed and annoyed finding Mr Alexander saying funding for Prostrate Cancer is lackng because of “lack of advocacy on men’s part”. After all for years I’ve been writing to MPs, including a Prime Minister saying Men have been left out in the cold funding-wise and got diddly squat response. I’ve ended up believing they couldn’t give a shit because they cynically think there aren’t enough votes in it for them.
    What particularly amazes me was that even when celebrity Paul Holmes had treatment recently for a prostrate condition, Prostrate Cancer didn’t become a hot button issue.
    Still, it’s good news that Mr Alexander is raising the issue, especially in election year.
    I note with sad irony that Mr John (I care about men) Tamihere is conspicuously silent about Men not getting funding for prostrate testing (or like women cancers – millions poured into R & D to detect and treat it).
    Go the Men’s Convoy 2005!!
    Stephen Gee.

    Comment by Stephen Gee — Wed 9th March 2005 @ 2:18 pm

  2. Stephen, I have to agree with your comments.

    The good thing is that it IS election year and the issue is being raised again by the Men’s Convoy (and others). Kerry and Jim are very strong in their message and I am more than happy to have lent my support to their efforts through to Hamilton this year.

    Regarding Uncle John [Tamihere], you have to guess that Aunty Helen, the funny girls and the funny boys are having a bit of influence over what and how much he says.

    In my personal opinion, standard “PSA” blood tests for at risk men in the population – those 45+ with a male relation who has suffered prostate cancer and 50+ if not – needs to be available at no cost. Sons with a Father who has prostate cancer are twice as likely to get prostate cancer.

    I for one am very tired of Aunty Helen’s social engineering agenda and the pandering to all these minority groups.

    Wake up Aunty Helen! Smell the coffee! It IS election year and we will exercise our votes to forcibly evict you!

    Free PSA tests as the start of the battle against Prostate Cancer!

    Mark Shipman

    Comment by Mark — Wed 9th March 2005 @ 9:08 pm

  3. Yes Stephen, you can write as many letters as you like, but as an individual you have no chance. Do you really think this Govt cares about you as an individual, whether you die or not?

    We (men) have to fight these issues collectively. We need to act collectively to FORCE the Govt into rethinking. The Govt cares about two things…the power of voting groups and revenue collected.

    So to solve our problems…WHO is going to bring the men together…a national organisation devoted to MENZ issues…not 200 members…we need 20 times that number before the Govt will wake up and take notice. How do we get those numbers…EPMU for starters??

    And we need MONEY for campaigns.

    Comment by Morris Lindsay — Wed 9th March 2005 @ 9:13 pm

  4. I like the idea of organising mass support for men to get healthcare parity with women. I agree men should also be given free screening for thier own sex specific cancers. I notice recent research has debunked the old idea that prostrate cancer couldn’t be detected until it’s well advanced. By which time it may be too late to prevent loss of a men’s lives. By contrast the latest research I’ve seen is saying that if you test a man and find a certain level of a specific chemical in his blodstream, then retest each year, then find that from one year to the next that level escalates by more than a certain amount it’s a definite danger warning that he has a developing prostrate cancer. I’m not sure if many in NZ know this, so perhaps they’re under the misguided impression that it’s pointless agitating to change this situation. I realise I may be teaching old hands how to suck eggs, but I write this incase someone who doesn’t know this stumbles accross this posting.
    In any case to return to the point I wanted to make originally, whilst I’m mightily glad that the Men’s Convoy is out there pushing for free cancer screening for men, and not just women, and I agree with Morris Lindsay that lots of money would help campaighn for this change, I don’t think it need cost money at all to further the process of bringing about such equity for men. As such I encourage everyone to use today’s rapid communication tools to build the political swell which will inevitably wash up on politicians who will then have to give us want we want or face the consequences at the ballot box.
    We may not hear much in the mainstream about men’s politics due to the feminist lace curtain filtering out men’s issues. But it’s a well nown fact that one of the deciding factors in the Republicans winning a return to power in USA is that to the largest extent
    THEY GOT THE MALE VOTE! So Buddies simply start saying stuff like – “I’ll consider favourably voting for that party which gives men healthcare parity” You can do the same with regard to agitating for men to get parity in the family court too if you like –
    text it, e-mail it, drop it casually into a conversation, then watch the ripples spread. Without seeing or hearing it firsthand you can be certain that in a pond as small as NZ it’ll soon wash up to politicians. Hell, I wouldn’t be too surprised if some don’t even drop into this site and use it as a useful thinktank to tune into men’s concerns. (In case I’m right and that’s happening –
    “Pull yer flaming finger out John Tamihere! Yer say yer pro-bloke yet yer bro’s are literally dying whilst paying bucketloads of taxes to save our sistas mate!!)
    Stephen Gee.

    Comment by Stephen — Fri 11th March 2005 @ 4:00 am

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