With 17,729 men expected to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in Australia this year, Sunrise host David ‘Kochie Koch is hoping to dispel some of the myths surrounding testing for the deadly disease.
On Monday’s episode of the popular morning show, Kochie underwent a full prostate exam, letting cameras capture what really happens. It’s all part of a new segment, Health Check, which launched on Sunrise this morning.
The show’s hosts are putting their health under the microscope, undergoing potentially life-saving medical tests for some of the biggest killers in the country. The hosts claimed that the diseases and illnesses they’re being tested for will kill millions of Australians this year.
In dramatic scenes, Kochie could be seen walking through a health facility and pulling down his trousers for the exam. “Just try and relax there a bit,” a doctor could be heard telling the 61-year-old as he underwent his physical examination.
“I try to look at it as a routine thing, but of course you get nervous,” Kochie explained of the test. He suggested that it wasn’t the first time he’d been tested for the cancer and that he tries to get tested regularly, although admitted that he can easily lose track and leave it a long time between tests.
“This test is so important for boofhead blokes like me,” he said. “Because we never go to the doctor. We never think about our health. The reality is more men die of prostate cancer than women die of breast cancer.”
Dr Raji Jooner, a urologist and robotic prostate surgeon, explained to the love-him-or-hate-him presenter that one in five men will develop the cancer before the age of 85, noting that the key to beating the disease is to find out if you’re dealing with an aggressive or mild form of cancer. “Unfortunately with prostate cancer, it doesn’t produce symptoms until usually it’s too late,” Jooner warned.
Kochie suggested that it was the treatment of prostate cancer that a lot of men were concerned about, given that the removal leaves a lot of patients incontinent. But Jooner explained that there are now a number of different cancer treatments available and that health professionals generally talk through all the options with patients.
“It’s not just straight away with surgery,” he explained. “There’s radiation treatment with different types of radiotherapy and also with surgery there’s open surgery, which is an incision. It’s keyhole surgery, doing it with your hands and there’s robot-assisted surgery which is a relatively new form of surgery which I think has led to many improvements and decreased side effects for patients.”
He added that while some men are reluctant to undergo physical examination, it’s an important way to detect cancer. A blood test is also available but isn’t always as effective, so both tests are preferred. Kochie opted for both the blood test and physical examination and said that while straight-forward, waiting for the results was the hardest part. Viewers will need to wait until Friday’s episode to find out the results of Kochie’s test.
“For blokes, it’s so important,” he told his co-hosts. “It’s not that invasive. What happens with blokes is, because you hear lots of fellas who get prostate cancer and then in the past, it used to be whip out the prostate and it can lead to impotency, so that’s the thing in the back of your mind the whole time.
“But the treatments are so vast these days that it’s not as bad as all that and you’ve got to get checked. You must get checked.”
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