Get a check mate!

By ANN-MARIE BEATTIE

LARRY Keays and his father, Harold, share many similarities.

They love their families, have always been active and have hardly been sick a day in their lives.

They also both have prostate cancer.

However, there is one major thing that separates them Larry caught his in time, while Harold didn't.

It's for this reason that Larry, 54, is putting his private parts on the public record to send a message out to men of the Coffs Coast: get checked regularly.

"Men need to start looking after themselves and stop thinking they are invincible," Larry said.

"If it wasn't for dad being diagnosed, I probably wouldn't have got checked out when I did and caught it in time."

The most common cancer in Australian men, about 12,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, and at least 2600 will die from the disease.

Most of these deaths occur when the cancer is discovered too late and has begun to spread to other parts of the body.

Larry's cancer is operable with him to undergo surgery next month.

"Prostate cancer is curable if caught in the early stages, which is why it is so important for men over 50, or younger if there is a family history, to get checked out," he said.

Early detection can be achieved with the Prostate Specific Antigen blood test (PSA) or Digital Rectal Examination testing.

It's the latter that so often scares men away from the doctors.

"Being embarrassed isn't a good enough reason to risk your health, or your life," Larry said.

"If my story gets one man to get checked out, it's worth it."

Read Harold and Larry's full story and find out what symptoms to look out for in Tuesday's Good Health section.



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