Cancer can cause concern at any age

Cassie Houghton, Sharon Burrell, Jeff Gray, Trish Gray and Karen Dent are ready for the Relay for Life.
Cassie Houghton, Sharon Burrell, Jeff Gray, Trish Gray and Karen Dent are ready for the Relay for Life.

‘I had noticed a few little changes, but wasn’t expecting anything like prostate cancer,’ Jeff said. ‘At 49 I thought I was too young. Prostate cancer was an old man’s disease, or so I thought.’

The reality is the cancer can occur in younger men, some in their 30s, with doctors saying it is no longer considered an old man’s disease.

Jeff underwent surgery for his rapidly growing prostate cancer, and admits he is lucky to be alive to tell the story.

‘Ten years later, I am still talking openly about what I went through and encouraging my friends and workmates to have check-ups,’ he said.

‘It’s been timely advice for some, who discovered they already had the disease.’

Jeff and his wife Trish are members of the Housing Heroes Relay for Life team, which is mostly made up of Department of Housing employees.

The 15-member team will take part in the WA Cancer Council’s Joondalup Wanneroo Relay for Life at Arena Joondalup on October 19 and 20.

Team captain Sharon Burrell said the relay would be the team’s second.

‘A few of us took part last year after losing friends and colleagues to cancer,’ she said.

‘We thought this was a good way of honouring their memory, creating awareness and raising money for the council to continue its research.

‘A feature of the relay is the very moving candlelight ceremony with photos of cancer survivors. We loved being a part of the relay last year.’

Teams, cancer survivors and volunteer helpers can still register for the October relay by calling 0497 384 486 or emailing relayteamsjoondalupwanneroo@gmail.com