Talking Tackle: How Ruth is changing conversation around prostate cancer

PCFA

Meet Ruth Logan – a woman on a mission! Ruth drives over 35,000km a year around Queensland and the Northern Territory in her trusty Mazda ute to get men talking about their tackle.

Ruth is the Education Program Facilitator for It’s A Bloke Thing Foundation, a foundation based in Toowoomba which has raised over $12million for Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, and local supportive care and education programs.

On any given week, Ruth can be found in a corporate board room or doing a daybreak toolbox talk for a construction company; at remote mine sites, rural shows and cattle properties, coastal men’s sheds, outdoor expos, on a fishing boat, or being a guest speaker at a Rotary Club meeting or a national conference. At all times she is starting a conversation, spreading awareness of prostate cancer and encouraging men to get tested.

Why? “When I hear that I have saved a life – it makes it all worthwhile,” she says.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australia, with one in five men diagnosed in their lifetime. Sadly, men living in regional areas face a 24 per cent increased risk of death from prostate cancer. So many men are unaware of what they need to do regarding prostate cancer testing.

Ruth is aiming to change that, one conversation at a time.

At events, she sets up her blue tent, banners and a table filled with prostate cancer information and resources to chat with blokes about – her prostate cancer “tackle box”, as she calls it.

“When one bloke said I have the capacity to make a very sensitive topic easy to talk about, it made my day.”

Since 2019, Ruth has attended over 180 events, despite taking a break during Covid-19 lockdowns. This year, as events ramp up again, it’s shaping up to be her biggest yet.

“There is so much coming up! I’ll be filming with Tackle Tactics for the Ch 7 Creek to Coast show at the Australia Fishing and Tackle Expo on the Gold Coast in August, attending the Australian Cotton Conference as a guest speaker, and making another trip up north to the Rocky Outdoor Camping Expo, to name a few.

“In 2023, we are planning to expand our reach with a raft trip down the Murray River, partnering with regional Men’s Sheds along the way to raise awareness and funds in that region. That will be an exciting challenge.”

Ruth said she’s motivated each and every day to travel as far and wide as possible to help close the regional divide and ensure that all men have the right information about prostate cancer, no matter where they live.

“The blokes I speak to have so little knowledge about prostate cancer and are often very shy, but I’m here to help them have those important conversations.

“I don’t want families to suffer the pain and distress of losing their husband, father, grandfather, uncle or mate to a cancer that can be treated successfully if detected early.”

Ruth said she loves being out on the road and meeting people from all walks of life, from all corners of the country.

“One of my standout trips was to some remote cattle stations in the Northern Territory. It was an incredible experience and one so close to my heart. It was made even better when I heard that a few men up there went for checks – they were detected with early prostate cancer which could save their life.”

If prostate cancer is diagnosed at stage one, five-year survival rate is nearly 100 per cent. Prostate cancer often has no symptoms at its earliest stage, which is why Ruth says that understanding your risk and testing options is imperative.

“There are so many reasons why men are diagnosed at a later stage, particularly regionally where there can be a lack of medical services, and lack of awareness and knowledge, but through education we can really change that.”

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