HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 594: 14 December2011

Foundation for Prostate Cancer awareness a welcome development
The Cook Islands may soon have its own Prostate Cancer Foundation thanks to groundwork being carried out by Doctor and former Minister for Health and Prime Minister, Sir Terepai Maoate.
Sir Terepai, himself a recent sufferer of a prostate condition, told the Herald on Monday morning he had discussed the possibility of setting up such a Foundation with both the Secretary for Health and the Minister for Health.
According to Sir Terepai both are supportive of such a move.
While many Cook Islands men have suffered from prostate cancer and other prostate related ailments, no support group or awareness group has ever been set up so a Foundation would be a welcome development.
Sir Terepai said internationally, many such groups have been set up and he was motivated by the Health Conference held in July which put the spotlight on men’s health. He also referred to the local Breast Cancer Foundation which is doing a great job in promoting awareness of Breast Cancer.
He is now looking at calling a public meeting of interested persons and parties with a view to establishing a constitution and an initial working group. He said the Secretary for Health had offered assistance in drafting up a constitution based on overseas examples. A local Prostate Foundation would seek affiliation with similar overseas organizations said Sir Terepai. He said those interested may contact him at home or on his mobile ph 73065.
Sir Terepai said the Foundation’s objectives would be:
1. Promoting awareness and education-men aged 40 years and up would be targeted. The aim will be to help others using the benefit of personal experience and also professional knowledge as a doctor.
2. Communication with other organizations to exchange information on management of the prostate condition and treatment.
3. To assist the Ministry of Health through promotion of training for surgeons utilizing overseas affiliations.
Sir Terepai related the experience of his own suffering from a Prostate condition. He said for a year he suffered pain and frequent passing of urine but with the bladder not fully emptying out due to enlarging of the prostate blocking the flow of urine.
In September 2011 at Christchurch Hospital he underwent a relatively new procedure called a “TURPS”-Trans Urethral Resection of the Prostate. It involves enlarging the channel inside the prostate so the bladder can empty out. He said the procedure could be done here if an overseas surgeon is brought in. Sir Terepai said in his case, the operation took just half an hour and he was awake throughout it. A local anesthetic was injected into his spinal chord. If the prostrate is removed altogether it can result in other complications he said. Sir Terepai said he is due for a check up on 11 January 2012. He is now free of pain and lately has been working in his lime orchards and assisting Pa Ariki with the upcoming opening of her Palace.
Sir Terepai said he now wants to devote time to helping the Ministry of Health. As a health professional he feels he still has much to contribute.
He said many men neglect their health and said many cases can be treated if dealt with early. He urged all men to have regular checkups of their prostate as for many men it was not a case of if they will have problems, but when. -Charles Pitt

Herald Issue 554 09 March
- Norm exposes Trio of Doom
- Briefs from PM’s media conference Tuesday
- Tourism Industry ponders $5 million draft strategy
- Norman George resigns from Cook Islands Party
- Letter of Resignation from CIP
- Norman selfish says Prime Minister

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