HEALTH AWARENESS: Iona West Men’s Shed chairman Syd Cowan (right) and member Allen Grant discuss the Queensland Bowel Cancer screening program with health promotions officer Cherie Cooper.
HEALTH AWARENESS: Iona West Men’s Shed chairman Syd Cowan (right) and member Allen Grant discuss the Queensland Bowel Cancer screening program with health promotions officer Cherie Cooper. Lee Constable

Men urged to have regular health checks

WHEN Syd Cowan was diagnosed with bowel cancer, he really understood the importance of highlighting men's health and early detection.

Today marks the start of Men's Health Week and the Iona West Men's Shed used the monthly breakfast on

Saturday to raise awareness of men's health.

As Iona West Men's Shed chairman, Mr Cowan said the idea was to make men more aware of their health and symptoms and to promote regular check-ups.

Men could be prone to ignoring symptoms or brushing them off as being nothing, he said.

"I think that's part of the nature of men, we're bulletproof, can't happen to us.

"It can catch up with you."

Mr Cowan said he'd been diagnosed 12 months ago, the cancer picked up during a screening test.

"Fortunately it was the early stages, it's been removed and I'm just now in a monitoring situation," he said.

"I had no symptoms it was quite a shock."

Mr Cowan said he hoped his own experience would prompt other men to focus on their health.

Guest speaker Dr Shannon Springer addressed various issues including bowel cancer, strokes and sugar diabetes, Mr Cowan said.

"Quite a lot of interest was shown," he said.

Men's Shed member Allen Grant said he believed men swept their health "too much under the carpet".

It was the first time he'd attended a breakfast, but he said it was "a great avenue for men to gather and talk about things".

Queensland Bowel Cancer Screening Program representatives were at the breakfast as part of Bowel Cancer Awareness month, encouraging screening age 50.


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