A Feilding man has a new lease on life after beating prostate cancer.
Chris Bland has a family history of cancers. His father died at the age of 50 from pancreatic cancer. At 40, his brother had lung cancer and another sibling had cancer of the lymph nodes.
So in his 50s, Bland started getting regular check-ups from his GP.
“It was in August 2008. I was getting my annual check-up by my GP and he found something not quite right.”
After seeing a urologist and getting a biopsy, Bland was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 64.
He was aware of his family’s history of cancer, but never thought he would ever be diagnosed.
“I think men think they are sort of bullet proof. They think it’s going to happen to the other guy, and not them.
“I think I was in that bracket too.”
He said it was a “numbing” experience being told he had cancer.
“I suppose you are sort of numb a wee bit. Your thinking, ‘good God, am I going to be around in a year’s time?’.”
Bland said his cancer was well contained in the prostate gland and he did not need radiation treatment. In March 2009, he had the gland removed.
After celebrating his 70th birthday on Tuesday, Bland has realised the importance of family, making time for the small things in life and living healthy.
He said for people with cancer, having a supportive network of people around you is extremely important, as well as eating healthily and living an active lifestyle.
Bland is taking part in the Alps to Ocean quest, where he will bike over 300 kilometres from the Southern Alps to the Pacific Ocean on Thursday.
He is also the co-ordinator for Prostate Cancer Foundation Manawatu and runs a support group for people in the community.
One in ten men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.
Men need to talk about it, be aware of their family history and get regular checks by their GP no matter how bulletproof they think they are, he said.
“I think people need to be aware of prostate cancer and all sorts of cancers, otherwise you tend to be flying along blind.”