Couple commit to cancer awareness

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Despite a low turnout at the inaugural meeting of the Prostate Cancer Support Group in Alexandra last week, another is to be held at Community House on February 1.

As organisers David and Ruth Clarke, of Roxburgh, were sufficiently encouraged by interest and feedback before and after the meeting, they decided there was enough support to organise another one.

‘‘Only three attended, which we thought was not too bad,’’ he said.

‘‘We also met a couple of guys beforehand.’’

Cancer Society of New Zealand support person for the area Yvonne Carter also attended to answer questions.

Mr Clarke was recovering from prostate cancer, and as both he and Mrs Clarke thought there was a need for the resource, they launched a support group in Roxburgh which attracted a core group of half a dozen people.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand provided training and resources.

Since then, the couple had run the bi-monthly meetings and promoted the group with stalls at the Blossom Festival and A&P shows to inform men about the importance of regular blood tests.

Mrs Clarke said they were also happy to talk to women to persuade ‘‘their significant males’’ to get checked for prostate cancer annually.

‘‘We just want to get the message out.’’

Mr Clarke said one in eight men in New Zealand got prostate cancer.

‘‘If it is caught early enough it is very treatable.’’

He can be contacted on 027 877-8070.

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