this month is Blue September and to David Clarke, of Roxburgh, it is a particularly poignant time.
He was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had to have his prostate gland removed in May last year.
‘‘Everything seems to be progressing favourably but I still need regular checkups.’’
He said it was so important for every man over 50 to be checked regularly, as early detection was vital.
‘‘Statistics show one in eight men will have prostate cancer in their lifetime and that is surpassing breast cancer statistics, which affects one in nine people nationally.’’
About nine months ago, he formed the prostate cancer Central Otago Support Group for men and their families who were going through the anxiety associated with diagnosis and treatment.
The group meets every second month at Trundles on Teviot cafe and he hopes to hold similar meetings in Alexandra in the alternate months.
‘‘Men can bring up any issues they might have and talk about their journey so far.”
‘‘I am getting five or six men coming to the meetings and I get about two new men [interested in attending the meetings] or inquiries a month.
‘‘Quite a few want to talk over the phone, which I am happy to do.’’
He knows of 12 or 14 men in the Teviot Valley and several in Alexandra who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and are dealing with the stress and treatment.
‘‘I am having a street stall by Budges Pharmacy, Alexandra, on September 16 for donations and to provide information.’’
He also had a stall in Roxburgh yesterday [September 9] and hoped to have another at the Blossom Festival.
‘‘If anyone has any concerns, they are welcome to come to the support groups or give me a ring on 027 877-8070.’’