Cheeky comedian tells men their health is the bottom line
JONATHAN (Jono) Coleman jokes that these days his body is less of a temple and more like the ageing Pantheon since his prostate cancer diagnosis last year.
The radio and television luminary, Movember Foundation ambassador and cancer survivor is still full of cheek as he shares his message to Aussie blokes to take time this month to grow a mo, make their health a priority and help raise funds for the global men's health movement.
The chubby, 62-year-old poster-boy is also encouraging women to get behind their men by finding ways to raise funds for prostate health research.
With a newly minted mo in place, funnyman Jono is spreading the word for men to have the conversation with their GP.
"Don't be a scaredy-cat," he calls outs. "If you are 50, or 45 even, get your PSA checked regularly and if you are worried about something, get your doctor to put his finger up your bottom; it takes 30 seconds to give you a clear mind.
"Don't just sit there and do nothing. Be involved in your own health."
Jono was diagnosed with prostate cancer in June last year. He remembers clearly the Friday afternoon when Professor Phillip Stricker at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital gave him the show-stopping news.
As the cancer had already spread to his hip bones, he was put through a series of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Wisely Jono had taken note not only of his GP's advice that from 50 onwards he should get his PSA checked, but also of his family's health history including his dad's heart problems. He also went through several full medicals in the UK before getting involved in some of the television shows there. Still, the prostate cancer diagnosis came out of the blue.
The cancer growth was caught early, and since May he has been in remission.
It's comforting for Jono that both his son and daughter are much more aware of their personal health. "The positive side to getting your PSA and blood test done, is that it makes the whole family aware, and friends and family are very important," Jono said.
"Since I did the Studio 10 thing, talked about it (cancer) on Alan Jones's radio show and did a big story with Women's Weekly, and that got picked up in the UK, now I am involved in Prostate Health UK. Before that I was involved with the Heart Foundation here and in the UK," Jono said.
He heads back to the UK this month for a week of live shows to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the Russ and Jono shows that were on Virgin Radio.
Prostate cancer isn't a death sentence Jono declares, and he is proving it by sticking to his incredible television work schedule of hosting Studio 10 five days a week, doing live advertorials, his own segments on Mondays and Fridays, plus a volunteer radio show on Northside Radio FM 99.3, and a weekly Russ and Jono podcast for the UK from November 5.
"My attitude is don't feel sorry for yourself; be positive," says the man with the glass half full. "I have a ruined temple, but my body is still my temple and I take the piss out of myself and laugh my way through it."
Movember is about men's health - talking, acting, solving
It's a global initiative which funds ground-breaking projects around prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health and suicide prevention - engaging with men where they are, to understand what works best, to help make change happen sooner.
It plans to win the fight by:
- Giving men the facts.
- Changing behaviour for the better.
- Creating services that work for men.
- Funding research.
- Listening to the community and advocating for men.
What does this future look like? Half as many men dying from prostate and testicular cancer. Half as many men suffering serious side effects as a result of their treatment. A quarter fewer men dying from suicide.
To support Movember, go to au.movember.com.