Cancer patients hit again

CANCER sufferers living in Griffith do it a lot tougher than those living in cities.

BAD NEWS: Cancer sufferers living in Griffith do it a lot tougher than those living in cities.

BAD NEWS: Cancer sufferers living in Griffith do it a lot tougher than those living in cities.

They frequently have to travel for treatment, which is costly and an added burden for a person who is gravely ill.

The Area News has been running an Ease the Pain campaign to try and lobby for better services for sick people in rural and regional areas.

Sadly, it was revealed this week the Riverina has again been overlooked for a prostate cancer specialist nurse.

Griffith Prostate Cancer Support Group member Rick Schwarzer said the news was extremely disappointing.

"The Riverina has the higest incidence of prostate cancer in NSW," Mr Schwarzer said.

"We would greatly benefit from having the services of a skilled prostate nurse to support all of those men in the region who have prostate cancer."

An application by the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD) for specialist nurse funding through the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia has been denied.

MLHD chief executive Jill Ludford said the health service would continue to seek funding for the position.

Mr Schwarzer was diagnosed with prostate cancer 11 years ago and had to travel to Albury for surgery.

"We are the poor country cousins, all the services are city based," he said.

"I had my surgery in Albury and the travelling back and forth is expensive, but it's also tiring, particularly when you're stressed out about your future."

Mr Schwarzer reminded men to have an annual blood test to check for prostate cancer.

He said a blood test, which he had during his annual "greaser and oil change" revealed he had cancer.

"Some men are in denial," he said.

"Men will look after their car, their lawn, their tractor but they won't look after themselves."

Mr Schwarzer said the prostate support group held an annual community forum and the topic this year would be bowel cancer.

The forum will be held at Exies on Tuesday, September 16 from 7.30pm.

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