DISCOVERING you have prostate cancer is a huge shock to the system.
No one knows this better than 42-year-old Pottsville man Chris Carter.
"You think it's an old man's disease and that's the danger," he said.
"I went to the doctor with a chest infection and asked for an overall check, including cancer.
"The doctor reassured me I was too young and said I had no worries.
"I insisted, wanting a clean bill of health. I got a prostate- specific antigen test which indicated all wasn't well.
"It was almost passed off as an infection, but a biopsy showed otherwise.
"That was the start of a huge emotional road through erectile dysfunction, incontinence and emotional trauma."
Mr Carter has been through the mill and wants other men to heed his warnings.
"Don't do the blokey thing and pass things off," he said.
"Get regular checks."
"There's no second chance at life."
He is holding a fundraiser lunch for prostate cancer research and will paddle a staggering 150km by paddle board from Yamba to Kingscliff on September 29.
"Anyone is welcome to tag along," he said.
"It's a fundraiser, but much more.
"It's about raising awareness and doing my bit to save lives.
"I can't stress enough to other men that you have to let go of your pride.
"For your own sake and for those that love you, you need to forget the 'She'll be right' attitude to your health.
"Sure it's embarrassing to talk about the prostate and the cure can cause embarrassing side effects.
"But in the long run, it's worth it."
NEED TO KNOW
- If detected early prostate cancer is treatable and curable
- Testing decreases the death rate by up to 44%
- Appointments only take between 20 to 30 minutes
Book by calling 1300 10 33 33