skip to main content

A Room full of Potential

By David Pine

"Nothing gives a prostate cancer surgeon more pleasure than a room full of grey-haired men.”

John NaceyIn this light hearted vein, Professor John Nacey of Otago Medical School in Wellington, began his address to Plimmerton Rotary on 7 October.

Professor Nacey explained that prostate cancer had been around for centuries, but effective diagnosis and treatment had only been developed in recent times. “A PSA blood test, which measures the volume of cancer cells in the blood stream is still the safest and most effective way of diagnosing prostate cancer. It is not totally reliable, but it is the best we have.”

“We live in lucky times. Up until 12 months ago, some of the treatments we now have, such as immune therapy, were simply not available.”

Of all cancers, prostate cancer was the biggest killer of men in NZ, with 600 victims every year. “This is more than double the number of deaths on our roads but, unlike the road toll, prostate cancer receives hardly any publicity at all.”

There were some startling statistics to do with family history. “If a man’s father has had prostate cancer, there is a 30% chance that the son will also contract the condition. If the man’s father has a brother, and both of them have had it, there is a 50% chance that the son will get it as well. And if the man’s father has two brothers, and all three of them have had prostate cancer, there is a 100% chance that the son will get it.”

Professor Nacey urged all older men to get themselves checked if any of the following five situations were experienced: a family history of prostate cancer; difficulty with urinary flow; blood in the urine; unexplained weight loss; or unexplained pain in the bones or joints.

“You older men owe it to yourselves and your families to get yourselves checked out. Early diagnosis is the key to controlling this condition. You really do owe it to those closest to you, to get your GP to  check you out.”


There is no meeting at Mana Cruising Club on Tuesday 14 October as an Offsite Visit is planned. Go instead to BNZ Harbour Quay Building at 60 Waterloo Quay opposite the Railway Station.

Meet outside the BNZ building at 6.10pm. The visit will take approx 1½ hours. No food is involved so have an early tea at home before you go or eat out afterwards. The kitchen at Featherston Bar & Grill on the corner of Featherston / Johnston Streets will be open until 9.00pm. Wives and partners are welcome. A ring around will be done to confirm numbers attending.

Melbourne Cup / Casino Night on Tuesday 4 November 2014: Alan Nichols is still looking for croupier helpers. Please offer your help. This evening will be a social night/ fund raiser with net proceeds to Cannon’s Creek Boxing Academy. Cost will be $20 per person with $10 to CCBA and $10 for finger foods served during the evening. A cash bar will operate from 4.30 pm. The Melbourne Cup Horse race will run from approximately 5.15pm and the evening will conclude approx 7.30pm-8.00pm.

Pathway Working Bees                                                        

Saturday 18 October  9.00am–12.30pm at the Nursery on Paekakariki Hill Road, potting up plants. Bring – gardening gloves and safety glasses if you have them. Parking - on site. Morning tea provided.

Monday 13 October – Infill planting at Ration Creek. For those expressing interest in assisting with this task please contact Peter Jackson on 04/235 8204 or 027/4448275

Additional Diary Dates:

11 October - Work day at Calliope Park 

18 October - Potting up plants at nursery on Paekakariki Hill Road

29 November - Kids Christmas party at Te Rauparaha Arena

5-7 December - Rotary Institute District Conference

28-29 March 2015 - Book Fair

Membership List: We are currently updating the membership list. Please advise any changes in your contact details to Adrienne Murray.

A Room Full of Potential

+ Text Size -