News

Gary Larson: Blokes need to think about prostate health

FORMER Australian rugby league star Gary Larson has one short, succinct message for all blokes - "make sure you get checked every year."

He is talking about prostate cancer - a condition that is diagnosed in more than 20,000 Australian men every year.

He knows all about it and is happy to talk about it - to anybody.

That's why he is the ideal person to have been named one of this year's Gladstone Relay for Life "faces".

Mr Larson was diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer in January 2013. His

journey since has been a rocky one, but he's coming out the other side, happy to be still with us.

And he mostly puts that down to early detection.

"It's not rocket science," he said. "It's just about looking after yourself. Annual checks are the key - and that was how my cancer was diagnosed at an early stage."

The now 48-year-old decided at 40 he would have annual checks, after he had become involved in Movember - the prostate cancer awareness program where blokes grow moustaches in aid of the cause.

"Now I'm really happy that I did make that decision," he said. "It meant that I still had a chance to do something about it."

That "something" was the decision to have his prostate gland removed.

"I talked to heaps of people who had battled with prostate and had made all manner of choices - and there are a lot of choices. I decided that the best chance for me to still be here was to have the gland removed," he said.

Mr Larson had surgery in September 2013 at Brisbane's Greenslopes Hospital.

The result of that surgery is that his prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests are negative. The consequences of the surgery have changed Mr Larson's life, and he's still working his way through parts of that, but the fact that he is still with us, he says, comes down to that one factor - early detection.

It's not something many blokes think about doing.

"We all think we're 10-foot tall and bulletproof - how often do we think to check ourselves out? For many of us it's never," he said.

"If it's not detected until too late, there's very little chance of survival. I know I want to be around for a little bit longer and so I'm very happy that I had the checks done on a regular basis."

Mr Larson has nothing but huge respect for Relay for Life and the Cancer Council.

"The Cancer Council is funded solely through fund

raising and yet it does such a huge amount for people with cancer and their families," he said.

"The council offers such a huge number of services and can put people in touch with the right people - people such as counsellors who can help us make those big decisions and provide us with support."

He has a special affinity for the Gladstone people - all volunteers - who organise Relay for Life every year.

"It's a wonderful group of people - Janelle Syddall, Sarah Martin, Reagan Fletcher, Stacey Joseph, Hollie Hall, Prue McConnell, Fiona Stevens-Smith, Ros Newberry, Col Chapman, Linda Irons, Ashleigh Smith Arthur Kelly, Leaonie Gleeson, Kathy

Andrew, Maddi Condren and Paul Webster - they do some wonderful work to make the event happen, and raise a lot of money to help the Cancer Council help us."

Mr Larson plans to spend a lot of his time helping to promote the relay. The team will be at BAM this weekend and also set up in Stockland to get the message across, not only to raise funds but also encourage people to form a team and take part in the event.

Mr Larson will be there when he can to spread his own message and share his experience.

About Gary Larson

Brought up in Miriam Vale

Played 240 rugby league games for the Sydney Bears and one season with the Parramatta Eels

Played 24 State of Origin games

Played nine Tests for Australia

Of rugby league players in general: "The only thing they tend to do to check their health is when checking their tattoos in the mirror."

Topics:  gary larson, mens health, prostate cancer



Tourists, campers to flood Gladstone region: plan

"We're hoping to have that in place by the end of this year..."

Man, 41 'exposes himself' several times to fellow beachgoers

YESTERDAY police were called to Canoe Point and charged a man who, on several occasions, willfully exposed himself.

Police received a strange call yesterday afternoon.

Man, 24, charged with 'alleged abduction' of Gladstone girl

Police in pursuit of man, Clinton

The man allegedly fled the home, resulting in a large scale search

Local Partners

Angelina turns to Depp for consolation after divorce

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie with their six children

Angelina Jolie is reportedly being consoled by Johnny Depp

Rockhampton dancer en pointe for European stages

CENTRE STAGE: Anastasia Lewis has moved from Rockhampton to Sydney to study classical ballet.

Rocky dancer believes competitions are the perfect preparation

Conner's food distraction leads to elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Conner Bethune.

HUNGER gets to castaway as Australian Survivor's tribes merge.

Bonus point gets Dan and Carleen over the line on The Block

Dan and Carleen in their winning living and dining rooms in a scene from The Block.

BABY boomers win living and dining week as show hits halfway mark.

Olivia Wilde having a girl

Olivia Wilde revealed she is expecting a baby girl.

Michael Palin: Terry Jones dementia is 'painful' to see

Michael Palin has found Terry Jones' decline "painful to watch"

'Flex muscles': Gladstone suburb drops $120K

BUYERS are scooping unprecedented deals by “flexing their muscles at the table”

Few bright lights for property after mining downturn

The Gladstone Regional Council wants associated LNG companies like Bechtel to be apart of the EIS housing accommodation strategy from the outset of the projects and not mid-way through.

Tannum Sands continues to write its own property success story

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Market opens as Gladstone sellers drop prices to force sale

VENDORS are dropping the price on houses to force a sale.

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual