His second brush with cancer is a reminder for men to get checked regularly, Winston Turipa says.
In 2017 while he was being treated for a heart attack, tests revealed he had prostate cancer and once he recovered in 2018 the prostate was removed.
However, in the months after, tests to measure the prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels in Mr Turipa’s blood started to go up again, he said.
The levels indicated cancer was starting to grow again.
It would have been very hard to locate the cancer without a PET scan, so he and his wife Karon fundraised to find the $3000 to do the scan privately.
“Early detection is the key,” he said.
The scan undertaken earlier this year found secondary cancer in the lymph nodes near where the prostate had been.
He has since undergone more radiotherapy and hormone treatment to deal with the growth.
“It’s very encouraging having come out of treatment knowing I may never be the same, but I’m healthy and I’m well because we did it sooner rather than later.”
A blood test to determine PSA levels was a simple way for men to find out if their prostate was in good health, and he recommended men take such a test.
“Men with prostate cancer are getting younger and younger.
“It’s best to always get checked early even if they are not showing signs.”
He was now working as a Community Networking Trust Youth worker, and when he had completely recovered from the treatment hoped to start a support group for men.
“I know now there are a few men in the area that have gone through what I’ve gone through.”