Geoff Brock bounces back from cancer scare with fighting words

“I am raring to go.”

With these words Geoff Brock dismissed speculation about his health and pledged to contest the state election next year.

The Independent Member for Frome had a brush with cancer only weeks ago, resulting in the removal of his prostate gland.

He has bounced back with fighting words, saying he has never felt better and is determined to serve out his term, if re-elected in March.

The discovery of cancer cells in his body, now overcome by a prostatectomy, is the latest challenge that Mr Brock has faced in his long local government and political career.

His wife was killed in a car crash near Port Pirie many years ago, his brother Ian died suddenly and now he has triumphed over a possible death sentence.

Mr Brock has emerged stronger and is defiant, saying he wants to be an “ambassador” for men’s awareness about the telltale signs of prostate cancer.

“I know there is some talk out there that I can’t handle the job, I am sick, I didn’t handle the operation,” he said.

“Honestly, I am in good health. I have still got plenty of energy.

“It slowed me down for about a week after the operation, but it has not affected my dedication or commitment.”

Incredibly, Mr Brock benefited from a biopsy performed using a machine that he helped to provide for the Port Pirie hospital.

Previously, patients needing a biopsy had to travel to see a urologist in Adelaide, causing trauma and financial hardship to families.

“I want to encourage people to have examinations,” he said.

“There is no shame in talking about these issues from a man’s point of view.

“If I can save one life, I would feel justified in what I am doing.”

Mr Brock has outlined the diagnosis and treatment of his disease.

He said he had a PSA blood-test in January.

The level had doubled from 1 to 2 in the previous 12 months.

He visited urologist Dr Andrew Fuller in Adelaide, followed by the taking of a biopsy.

“It came back that out of 12 samples, two samples registered very minute amounts of cancer,” he said.

“I had an internal examination and the doctor could feel a nodule so he investigated.

“When I had an MRI scan, it indicated there could be some cancer.

“So to overcome that, I had a bone scan which clears any cancer from the bones. There was zero there.

“The doctor did a further biopsy which identified a small amount of cancer cells and then a decision was made to remove the prostate.

“A week after the surgery, I was back at work.

“I want to promote awareness of the disease and will work with prostate cancer groups in Port Pirie and Clare.

“I want to encourage people to have an examination to ensure they explore that there is no opportunity for cancer to be in the system.”

He said he and a group of people had worked to bring a biopsy machine to the hospital and it had helped to save his life.

“Previously anyone who needed a biopsy needed to go to a urologist in a major hospital in Adelaide,” he said.

“This caused trauma for the family and financial hardship.

“I am now very, very fit and very motivated and passionate about the issue.” 

Independent Member for Frome Geoff Brock, left, who has battled prostate cancer, is pictured here with the Port Pirie Regional Health Service’s clinical services coordinator Sue Wilkinson, and fellow cancer survivor Darryl Dietman. Mr Dietman was the first patient to undergo testing on the machine pictured. The machine is used for first stage prostate cancer testing and was provided to the hospital with the help of Mr Brock.

Independent Member for Frome Geoff Brock, left, who has battled prostate cancer, is pictured here with the Port Pirie Regional Health Service’s clinical services coordinator Sue Wilkinson, and fellow cancer survivor Darryl Dietman. Mr Dietman was the first patient to undergo testing on the machine pictured. The machine is used for first stage prostate cancer testing and was provided to the hospital with the help of Mr Brock.

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