November is the month where men everywhere begin sprouting those scratchy moustaches for a cause. The cause is men’s health and it’s a great time of year to start those tricky conversations with the men in your lives. Too many are dying too young. The incidence of prostate cancer in men is equivalent to that of breast cancer, while mental health issues in men are also on the rise. Early detection and intervention can halt the course of these insidious men’s health issues.
Kirk Pengilly (prostate cancer survivor and INXS guitarist) has shaved off his famous mo to promote the Movember movement and encourage others to “grow a mo for a bro”. Sasha Mielczarek, who won the lovely Sam Frost’s heart in the 2015 season of the Bachelorette, has been embracing the mo since 2003. His father had prostate cancer. Now Brisbane’s own Dr Judith O’Malley Ford has released her book ‘ The Secret Stalker of the Prostate’ just in time for Movember.
About Dr Judith
The question Dr Judith is asked most is, “ Why would a woman write a book about prostate cancer?” Her stock answer is, “ Why not?”
A practising GP, she is the author of international bestsellers ‘ The Australian Medical Dictionary’ and ‘ The Medical Dictionary of Conditions and Diseases’ as well as being a former editor of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia’ s monthly magazine. The former Superintendent of the Mater Children’s Hospital is also an accomplished artist, quilter and writer of fiction and poetry.
The Book Launch
In his opening remarks MC Major General Professor John Pearn, a world renowned paediatrician and well respected mentor to many in the medical profession, said, “ This is the best, most inclusive book on Prostate Cancer I have ever read.”He and his work are held in such high esteem that he has already been awarded the Order of Australia and is now going to London to receive an award from the Queen.
Also speaking at the launch was Senior Board Member of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Dr Ian Smith who said, “ This is the most comprehensive book on the topic ever written . A diagnosis of prostate cancer strikes terror in the hearts of most men and Judith presents practical information in a very readable format.”
Dr Peter Dornan , a sports physiologist , sculptor and prostate cancer survivor said, “ This is the book I would have loved to have when I was diagnosed. It addresses anatomy, decision making for treatment, impact on relationships , diet and new horizons in prostate research.”
Dr Judith’s book presents information from an expert point of view in a non threatening and often light hearted way- with questionnaires, illustrations , case studies and diagrams. She advises we women to, “ talk about the subject with your partners, do the questionnaire and don’t be embarrassed to ask your medical practitioner for advice. Men are literally dying from embarrassment.”
Starting the Conversation
I could never have imagined having a conversation with my husband and sons about prostate cancer, yet after attending the book launch that’s exactly what I did. I read out some of the symptoms, statistics and medical advances in a non-threatening way. It opened the discussion about people we know who have the disease and my boys now know this disease is a part of their family medical history. They were very relieved when I read that in the future there may be a skin test to detect prostate cancer. Dr Judith reiterates that not all symptoms mean a diagnosis of Prostate Cancer and early intervention and diagnosis is critical. So ladies, when you’re writing your next “to do” list for your man ( especially the stubborn ones who never go to the doctor) start the conversation and let them know it’s better to be checked than to die of embarrassment.
‘ Secret Stalker of the Prostate’ has been published by Morris Publishing and will be available in all major booksellers , medical school bookshops or you can buy direct from Morris Publishing – Australia.
Dr Judith O’Malley Ford
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).