To create a better world for men and the people who love them
We call on government to equip large regional public hospitals with transperineal biopsy machines to boost prostate cancer survivorship
- Prostate cancer is an increasing cause of death across Australia. The Australian Cancer Atlas shows around 20,000 new cases per year, affecting 205 men per 1,000. The highest infection rates and lowest survivorship rates occur in regional Australia (Qld Cancer Council).
- In June 2019, The Male Bag Foundation wrote to The Federal Minster for Health and both major political parties calling for bipartisan support for public hospitals in regional Australia to be equipped with transperineal biopsy machines (TBMs).
- Without a TBM, regional hospitals are forced to offer a painful antiquated biopsy procedure with unacceptable infection rates (10 times the risk of local infection and a deadly spread of infection to the blood stream – sepsis). This leads to costs that are avoidable with a TBM procedure. Additionally, where a TBM is needed, patients must cover the disruption and travel costs to a city for what should be a routine day procedure.
- Foundation Patron David Parkin OAM said: “We’ve understood the link between local treatment and prostate cancer survivorship for some time, so we think our request is good community health policy. As TBM costs continue to drop (now around $85,000), a $5 million program would equip 40 or so regional hospitals. The program could be aligned to hospital upgrades, would extend the reach of specialists into regional Australia, and give valued support for people and families in the bush.
- He went on to say, “in the absence of a government program, our tiny Charity run by volunteers who give their time pro-bono has become the largest facilitator of TBMs in regional Australia. But with rising infection rates a far more proactive response is well overdue.”
- Since 2013 the Foundation has raised, around 400 men per month in NSW, Victoria and South Australia use TBMs facilitated by the Foundation.
- Foundation Chairman Robert Glover said “helping people in the bush really drives us and we will continue our work in the absence of a government TBM program, but the benefits of a program are so self-evident and immediate, we call on hospital boards, prostate cancer support groups and the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia to join our call. The capital funding required is a life changer for men in the bush and for the people who love them.”
Introducing the Foundation
The Male Bag Foundation Ltd – purpose-built charity with a clear mission and strategy
The Foundation is an incorporated not-for-profit charity developed to raise funds for much needed specialist equipment and services to reduce the incidence of prostate cancer in regional Australia. It uses Postie motorbike rides to build awareness and raise funds for targeted outcomes. Our brand and activities resonate with major corporates, farmers and regional communities.
The first ride was from Perth to Melbourne in 2013. The Foundation was established on 2 February 2015 (ABN: 52602823496) and donations are Tax Deductible. The Board comprises volunteer Directors, there are no employees so that 100% of donations go targeted outcomes.
Our Chairman is Mr Robert Glover and our Patron is Dr David Parkin OAM.
Objectives and achievements – boosting awareness in men’s health and reducing prostate cancer deaths in regional Australia
Our rides have fast-tracked the delivery of Transperineal Biopsy Machines (TBMs) and specialist care to hospitals in Bairnsdale, Ballarat, Bendigo, Barwon Health South West (VIC), Dubbo, Wagga and Griffith (NSW), and the Limestone Coast and the Riverland/Mallee/Coorong Health networks (SA)
Around 400 men per week use a TBM facilitated by our efforts.
Our iconic postie bike rides are used to raise funds. Riders cover the costs of each event, and day to day operations are managed by volunteers and professional advice is provided pro-bono.
Making a difference – facilitating the early detection and reducing the impact of prostate cancer on men, families and regional communities
Men in regional and rural communities don’t like going to the major cities for medical treatment and many ignore the early signs of prostate cancer. Our experience tells us that early biopsies in regional hospitals using the latest technology followed by quick treatment saves lives.
Board’s media and communications adviser