Gary tells of fight for survival
WHEN Gary Schulze was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2005, he was told he had seven months to live if he did nothing about it.
“I was a little bit shocked — there was a bit of disbelief,” he said.
“I didn't have any symptoms. It got picked up in a blood test during my annual check-up.”
Mr Schulze decided to have surgery and his prostate was removed, but his doctor later told him there was a 75% chance the cancer would return.
He was put on a course of chemotherapy for 18 weeks, which he says he did not enjoy.
“It's fairly severe on the system, I wouldn't recommend it to anybody,” he said.
The chemotherapy failed to stop the cancer and Mr Schulze had to undergo 36 radiotherapy treatments.
“That did the job,” he said.
Mr Schulze, now 65, said prostate cancer was very aggressive and very malignant.
“The message to all men is to get yourselves checked for it,” he said.
“It's not an old man's disease any longer. Ask your doctor for a check-up.”
That is the same message Cancer Council Queensland is pushing during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in September.
Cancer Council Queensland cancer action co-ordinator Bonnie Dale said more than 200 Bundaberg and Wide Bay men would be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year.
“With one in eight Queensland men at risk of developing prostate cancer in their lifetime, prostate cancer is a major issue in our community,” she said.
“Men should discuss the pros and cons of detecting prostate cancer early with their doctor and make an informed decision.”