BATHURST's Phillip Newton will play his part to help tackle prostate cancer in September.
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Mr Newton, who is the current Bathurst Bulldogs president, will walk 72 kilometres throughout the month of September for Prostrate Cancer Foundation of Australia's pinnacle event The Long Run.
Prostate cancer has overtaken breast cancer as the country's leading cause of cancer, with 66 men diagnosed every day and in the Central West region alone, over 230 men are expected to be diagnosed this year.
Mr Newton said he was inspired to take action after his own diagnosis in March last year, aged 55.
"I had been getting a regular yearly check-up since the age of 40, and never thought a simple blood test as part of that yearly check-up would help to save my life," he said.
"At the time, my health was great and with my wife Margaret and our three teenage sons, Ollie, Tyson and Ruben, we were planning their post-school years together."
Following more appointments with a Urologist, and MRI, PET/CT scans, Mr Newton opted to have a radical prostatectomy.
"My doctor explained the cancer was contained within the prostate - great news - and explained the procedure went well," he said.
"I did some of my own research and thought I could cope and bounce back quickly - I told a few mates that I would be at a local rugby club luncheon three weeks later ... but how wrong I was.
"The surgery was a great deal more intrusive than I expected, and I struggled for quite some time. So much for the rugby lunch."
Now, thirteen months post-surgery, Mr Newton's prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels continue to remain low.
While he still experiences a few post-surgery issues, he remains positive these will improve overtime.
"Since my diagnosis and during my recovery, I have received great support from my family and friends and I am sure to tell them all, get tested, that simple blood test can save your life," Mr Newton said.
"A question that many of my mates ask was what symptoms did I have? I tell them straight out that I had none which is why you need to be chatting with your GP about testing options.
"I decided if by walking 72 kilometres in September for The Long Run can raise awareness and funds to assist in supporting other men and their families in their fight against prostate cancer, maybe my small commitment can help make a great difference."
The community can support Mr Newton by donating at: www.thelongrun.org.au/fundraisers/phillipnewton.
For information and support, call the Prostrate Cancer Foundation of Australia on 1800 22 00 99 or go to www.pcfa.org.au.
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