Sunday, September 11th, 2011
With prostate cancer still the most common cancer in Australian men -- sadly, this year almost 20,000 Australian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 3,300 men will die of the disease – Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia today urged Victorians to support the fight against the cancer by joining The Big Aussie Barbie campaign this month.

Speaking at the Melbourne launch of International Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, the foundation’s Chief Executive, Dr Anthony Lowe said he hoped that this third annual Big Aussie Barbie campaign would double last year’s $800,000 raised for the foundation’s research, awareness and support work.

Melbourne’s Lord Mayor, Robert Doyle launched the campaign.

September fitted with the barbie theme, said Dr Lowe, because it hosts Father’s Day, footy finals and it is the start of Spring and the new season for having a barbecue, an iconic Aussie tradition.

“Dame Edna Everage is supporting the campaign in a television advertisement where she is urging Australians to keep their sausages sizzling,” he said.

“If the community responds to Dame Edna’s call to host a barbie, it may well prompt a conversation about prostate cancer around the barbecue and as a result see more men discuss their prostate health with their GP. With 80% of men not knowing the function of the prostate, we hope this campaign creates talk-ability, or barbie banter, for something that isn’t talked about,” said Dr Lowe.

“More than ever we are seeing the far reaching effect of prostate cancer in our community. It is through the continued generosity from the general community and corporate Australia we are able to continue our work around the country,” he said.

The invitation to register on the website and host a barbie is open to everyone – businesses, government departments, local councils, workplace, sports, community, neighbourhood, social and common-interest groups, families and individuals.

Thirty-five PCFA community support groups throughout Victoria are promoting the campaign in their local areas as well as organising their own barbecue events, said Dr Lowe. ”These groups play an important role in providing affected men and their families with the information and support they need to help them through their prostate cancer journey,” he said.

In addition to hosting a Big Aussie Barbie, Australians can also support the campaign by purchasing a “BBQ Kit” from the website, or tell 1800 220 099.

The issues:
  • What is not commonly understood is that men can be diagnosed with prostate cancer as early as in their forties.
  • In its early stages, prostate cancer has no symptoms, and bearing in mind men’s general reluctance to visit a doctor, the disease may be advanced by the time it is detected.
  • Statistics also indicate that the mortality rate in rural areas is 21 per cent higher than in urban areas.
  • It is therefore vital that men be made aware of this risk. Speaking with a doctor about prostate cancer and, if necessary, being tested is a simple step, and it can save lives.
In Sydney, PCFA and major sponsor Commonwealth Bank have joined forces to launch the Big Aussie Barbie campaign with an Australian Guinness World Record attempt for the World’s longest BBQ Marathon at Cathedral Square in Sydney.

Mr Ralph Norris, Commonwealth Bank Chief Executive Officer, says the Bank is proud to continue to support such an important issue. “In an organisation as large and diverse as ours, the prevalence of prostate cancer means that it is something that sadly and inevitably affects the lives of many of our customers, staff, friends and family. Hosting a BBQ this September is a fantastic way to raise support PCFA and raise mass awareness of prostate cancer amongst Australians,” said Mr Norris.

What is the prostate and its function? The Prostate is an organ forming part of the male reproductive system. It is located immediately below the bladder and just in front of the bowel. Its main function is to produce fluid which protects and enriches sperm. In younger men the prostate is about the size of a walnut. It is doughnut shaped as it surrounds the beginning of the urethra, the tube that conveys urine from the bladder to the penis. The nerves that control erections surround the prostate.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare , prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australia. Sadly, this year almost 20,000 Australian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 3,300 men will die of the disease. -- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Cancer in Australia: An overview, 2008. AIHW CAN 42. Excludes non-melanoma skin cancers.

For more information about prostate cancer or to register your Big Aussie Barbie, visit or call 1800 220 099.

- ENDS -

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Graeme Willingham, Graeme Willingham PR 03 9660 5541 0414 499 887 Melbourne launch of September -- International Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Thursday, September 8, 2001, noon, Federation Square, City.

Comment: Dr Anthony Lowe, CEO Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. 02 94387010. 0404 853 062 [email protected] or David Rhodes, State Manager Victoria & Tasmania, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia 03 9948 2080 0425 882 554 [email protected]

Prostate the topic for barbie banter this month

Contact Profile


PCFA is the peak national body for prostate cancer in Australia. It is dedicated to:
• providing support for Australian men and their families impacted by prostate cancer;
• raising awareness; and
• funding important Australian research projects.

PCFA receives limited funding from government, therefore relying on the generosity of individuals, the community and important partnerships with corporate Australia, such as the Commonwealth Bank, to carry out its essential work.
Graeme Willingham, Graeme Willingham PR
P: 03 9660 5541
M: 0414 499 887


Melbourne launch of September -- International Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Thursday, September 8, 2001, noon, Federation Square, City.



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