Blue September for Prostate Cancer Awareness

September 23rd, 2020

The Prostate Cancer Foundation has a significant role in promoting public awareness of this disease. With over 3000 New Zealand men being diagnosed each year, and with early detection leading to better outcomes, it is important that men are aware of the signs of potential disease and also of the checking and screening tests that are available from their doctor.

Each year Blue September focuses on prostate cancer awareness.

What is the Prostate Gland?

The prostate is one of the male sex glands. The other major sex glands are the testicles and seminal vesicles. Together these glands secrete the fluids that make up semen.

The normal prostate is about the size of a walnut. It lies just below the bladder and surrounds the beginning of the urethra. The urethra is the tube that runs through the penis. It carries urine from the bladder and semen from the sex glands.

As the prostate is a sex gland, its growth is influenced by male sex hormones. The chief male hormone is testosterone, which is produced mostly by the testicles.

Screening and Early Detection of Prostate Cancer

Early detection of prostate cancer (PCa) is important as this cancer is most treatable when detected while contained within the prostate gland before it spreads to other parts of the body.

The New Zealand Ministry of Health Prostate Cancer Management and Referral Guidance indicates the procedures for men looking to be tested for prostate cancer.

Regular prostate checks are important for men who:

  • Are over the age of 40 if there is a family history of prostate cancer;
  • Are older than 50, but younger than 70.

There are two simple tests for prostate cancer and it is recommended that both are done each year.

  1. The PSA blood test is a simple test than can be done in conjunction with other blood tests (e.g. cholesterol) as part of a routine health check-up.
  2. The Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) is a physical examination where the doctor checks the size, shape and hardness of the prostate gland by inserting a gloved finger in to the rectum.

Men having any problems such as pain, fever, swelling of the prostate and, blood and pus in the urine, or problems passing urine should consult their doctor without delay.

The most insidious thing about PCa, and what makes it so dangerous, is that in its early stages it does not usually exhibit symptoms. When symptoms begin to appear then it is frequently too late for effective curative treatment. This is why regular check-ups are so important.

Please visit the foundations Information Links page for more information.

If you want to support the Prostate Cancer Foundation you can grab some Blue Balls from your local Countdown supermarket.

Blue Balls, a nutritious snack from our friends at Loaf NZ incorporating the tastiest natural blueberries and finest peanut butter goodness from Nut Brothers, available from all Countdown Supermarkets instore or online, and direct from Loaf NZ’s online shop (minimum order 12) during September. The great news, aside from the taste, is that 40 cents from every individual pack of Blue Balls sold goes to Prostate Cancer NZ and Testicular Cancer NZ. To find out more check out the Blue Balls FAQs.

By purchasing Blue Balls you’ll be doing good when you spend, by helping continue to raise awareness and provide support for men and their families, living with prostate and testicular cancer. Find out more about prostate cancer and/or testicular cancer.