Positive approach to cancer

Ed Stevens is fighting his battle with prostate cancer in a positive way. PHOTO: SEAN NUGENT
Ed Stevens is fighting his battle with prostate cancer in a positive way. PHOTO: SEAN NUGENT
In the face of adversity a Wanaka man is keeping his prostate cancer in check by staying active.

Nine years ago, Ed Stevens went to the doctor to have his prostate examined.

The doctor said there was no need to, because he was fit and healthy.

He later found out he had incurable prostate cancer.

``You take the medical profession at their word, but I've learnt differently since.''

After his visit to the doctor, he travelled to Peru to go climbing. In Peru, he began to urinate more frequently.

``I just thought that was [the] altitude because we were way up high. We got back to New Zealand and it carried on.''

He returned to the doctor and was told he had stage four prostate cancer.

``If I'd had the examination at the right time when I asked for it, the whole thing could have been curable.''

Mr Stevens is in his sixth year of the cancer and has kept up a busy life.

``Since I've been diagnosed with prostate cancer, I haven't had a sick day, even with the chemotherapy and radiation.''

Just this week he returned from climbing Mt Barth, 2456m above sea level in Mt Aspiring National Park.

``I put a lot of it down to a positive attitude. I'm a great believer in the power of the mind for healing.''

He stressed the importance of prostate checks.

``The key to it is early examination, early checks. They say 50 but there's an argument now that it should be 40.''

Mr Stevens is the co-director of Highland Events, which will this Saturday hold the ``Gutbuster'' mountain bike race from Garston to Bannockburn.

The event is 75km long, starting in Garston, just south of Kingston and finishing in Bannockburn. The annual race began about 10 years ago.

This year, Mr Stevens and his business partner Terry Davis are encouraging men to become involved with the Movember foundation initiative.

With Movember, men are encouraged to grow a moustache in November to raise awareness for men's health.

They thought tying in Mr Stevens' story with the event would help boost the conversation in Central Otago.

Mr Davis said the competitors were usually men between 40 and 60, a perfect target market for the message.

``Prostate cancer is so common. It's almost guaranteed that a few competitors will have prostate cancer and not know anything about it.''

Mr Davis said the Movember association could happen every year.

Entries are open until the start of the race on Saturday.

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