Brothers battle prostate cancer together

Icon Writers / 30 Jan, 2023

Brothers Graeme (73) and Daryl (66) Buntine have both been diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer in the past 18 months.

Despite living in different states – Graeme in Queensland and Daryl in Victoria – the brothers were both treated at Icon Cancer Centres and have supported each other through their cancer journeys.

Graeme’s journey:Graeme’s journey:

In mid-2021, Graeme visited his GP to seek treatment for knee pain. The father-of-three has been an avid runner for over 40 years.

The GP suggested a full medical examination, which discovered Graeme’s Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) had gone up since his last test. Upon seeing a urologist, it was discovered Graeme had prostate cancer.

Graeme chose to have his prostate removed, but when a check-up following the operation discovered his PSA was still rising, Graeme was referred to Icon Cancer Centre Gold Coast Private radiation oncologist, A/Prof Jim Jackson for radiation therapy.

“It was a big shock to the system. I have always tried to keep myself fit through running and going to the gym three times a week for 40 years,” Graeme said.

“I’ve always been careful with my diet.

“No-one else in our family has had it. But a lot of the men in our family have died in their sixties from heart conditions, so they didn’t live long enough to get it.

“It’s so prevalent these days. Of the 45 members of my running club, 13 have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some stage or another.”

Graeme completed 35 sessions of radiation therapy at Icon over eight weeks.

While his cancer treatment has finished, he laughs when he points out that he still battling “dodgy knees, which I went to the GP about in the first place.”

Graeme said he was devastated when his brother Daryl was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December 2021 – just six months after his own diagnosis.

“The saving grace for both of us is that they found it early,” Graeme said.

“Daryl lives on his own, so I’ve been down to Melbourne to attend appointments with him and I call him each day after treatment to check how he is doing.

“When you go through something like this, you need the support of your family because you can easily end up thinking the worst. I hope I’ve been able to support Daryl through it.”

Daryl’s journey:Daryl’s journey:

After his brother Graeme was diagnosed with prostate cancer in mid-2021, Daryl decided to go to his GP for a check-up.

It was discovered his PSA had gone up considerably since his last test and further investigation led to the cancer diagnosis.

Daryl, also a father-of-three, admits he feared the worst when Graeme received his diagnosis.

“It certainly played on my mind that I could also have it. I knew I had to get to the doctor sooner rather than later,” Daryl said.

“The diagnosis didn’t come as a big shock. But it’s never nice hearing that you have cancer.”

Daryl had his prostate removed in late 2022 and on 3 January 2023 he had the first of 35 radiation therapy sessions at Icon Cancer Centre Holmesglen under radiation oncologist, Dr Andrew See.

He says the treatment has been made a little easier thanks to the support of his brother.

“Graeme has been great. If I ask questions, he’s right onto it. He’s been to appointments with me and shared his treatment plan,” Daryl said.

“Thanks to him, I know there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

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