20,000 Australian men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year.
Research conducted by Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA), the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, at La Trobe University showed that gay and bisexual men have very different needs to heterosexual men when it comes to dealing with prostate cancer. Sexual practices, for instance may be affected differently.
The nature of gay and bisexual men’s relationships and emotional support mechanisms are different to that in the heterosexual community. Research survey showed 50 per cent of heterosexual men say their primary emotional support comes from their partner and 20 per cent says it comes from friends. In the gay community, 32 per cent get primary support from a partner and 44 per cent from friends.
PCFA is working hard to raise awareness, conduct research, and provide information and support to men and their families affected by prostate cancer. They have developed specific resources for gay and bisexual men, written in appropriate, non-medical language, providing information on the diagnostic process, potential impact of prostate cancer and treatment on their social and sexual lives, as well as possible support and wellbeing issues following diagnosis and treatment.
There are 172 support groups, affiliated with PCFA. One of them is the Shine A Light support group, which has been providing support for gay and bisexual men diagnosed with prostate cancer and their partners in Sydney since 2011. There are also support groups for gay and bisexual men in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Darwin.
In line with the Big Aussie Barbie campaign, to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer, this Fair Day, 21 February 2016, PCFA and Shine A Light are having a Big Gay Aussie Barbie. Join us and our ambassador Matthew Mitcham in front of the Winnebago, enter the apron photo competition with a major prize to be won and get information on prostate cancer, general and specifically for gay and bisexual men, and support groups.