28 October 2022

How a check up – and speaking up – can make a difference

While isolating at home with COVID in early June, Mark Stevens, Whitehaven Coal Executive General Manager – Project Delivery, received the call confirming he had prostate cancer.

It was his son’s birthday that day, so he waited until the next day to share the news with his family from his quarantined room.

Luckily a visit to a cautious doctor for a routine check-up in 2021 meant Mark’s cancer was caught early, and he’s now in the clear.

“At a routine medical check last year, my PSA test came back slightly higher than normal, and my doctor encouraged me to undergo further testing. Because of this testing, we were able to catch the cancer early and remove it completely without it impacting my life any further,” he said.

The biggest thing that struck Mark while going through treatment was the number of young men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“You think it’s mainly men in their 70s, but on the Prostate Cancer Support Australia Group I joined on Facebook, I was surprised by how many men in their 40s and 50s had the diagnosis. All I can say is, if you’re in your 40s or above, ask for a PSA test when you see your doctor,” he said.

According to the Movember Foundation, one in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer by the age of 85, and the charity is fundraising to support innovation and collaboration to not only fight prostate cancer, but also prevent men’s suicide, and testicular cancer.

Whitehaven team members will take part in the charity’s main fundraising event, Movember, kicking off next week – and Whitehaven is matching funds raised up to $5000, donated to the team that raises the most money.

Ultimately for Mark, he said, “if fundraising events like Movember, and sharing stories can save at least one life, that’s all I want.”

Back to News

to top