60 Minutes on Channel 9
see the video at ninemsn
EDDIE MCGUIRE: This is SAM NEWMAN as you've never seen him before...
SAM NEWMAN: My hearts beating at 300, fair dinkum. I can feel it.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: ..quiet, sick and vulnerable.
SAM NEWMAN: I'm fretting Ed. I'd be no different from anyone else. If anyone says they don't fret or get anxious before they go in, I'd like to meet them.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: A cancer in Sam's prostate threatens to kill him. Today, everyone's hoping radical surgery will save my mate's life. I'll let you go from here mate. See you on the other side.
SAM NEWMAN: Well, see you at some stage, I hope. Yep.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: Good luck.
SAM NEWMAN: Thank you.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: Out on Port Phillip Bay, this is more like the
SAM NEWMAN we're used to.
SAM NEWMAN: This is fantastic, out there is Shangri-la, out there is the Garden of Eden, Ed. Just go as far as you like out through the heads, and on the way to the Antarctic.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: The most controversial TV star of the last 20 years, this is a rare glimpse into his private world.
SAM NEWMAN: If any of you want any chicken and tomato and lettuce roll, it's in here.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: Out here, we see the
SAM NEWMAN I know - generous host, and a loyal friend.
SAM NEWMAN: Ah, that's nectar. Oh, you want us to go in to you?
EDDIE MCGUIRE: At 62, he is an absolute specimen and looks as fit as they come. Making it all the harder to believe that in truth, he's a very sick man.
SAM NEWMAN: It's a very levelling experience, isn't it? It brings you right back down to the field, Ed. I'd be less than honest if I didn't say that. That can take all your vanity away just in an instant.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: The diagnosis three weeks ago has been an absolute bolt from the blue. Sam had no symptoms, no family history and had no idea he was ill until he went for a routine blood test to check his cholesterol.
SAM NEWMAN: He said, "Have you had any symptoms?" and I said, "I've had none of that." He said, "It's very fortuitous "that you went in to have your blood checked, "because usually the people who don't have symptoms, "by the time they do - it's too late."
DR LAURENCE HAREWOOD: Surgery consists of a procedure called radical prostatectomy.
DR LAURENCE HAREWOOD is so concerned at the progress of the cancer, that surgery is the only option.
DR LAURENCE HAREWOOD: And we sew, then, the bladder to the urethra directly.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: The prostate has to be removed immediately.
SAM NEWMAN: If you're confident, I should be, I suppose.
DR LAURENCE HAREWOOD: Cancer's a scary word but, you know, at least we are, with Sam, in with a chance with him. Nothing's guaranteed, but I think his chances are good.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: Good luck, Lawrence.
DR LAURENCE HAREWOOD: Thank you, Eddie. We'll be trying very hard with Sam, I can promise you.
SAM NEWMAN: It does go through your mind, just where it's all gonna end. And we don't want to make this too dramatic or hokey, or too schmaltzy but it does go through your mind, certainly.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: This is life or death. Sam won't survive unless all the cancer is removed.
DR LAURENCE HAREWOOD: This big vein running along there, that's where the nerves are.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: And there can be serious side effects - impotence and incontinence. To limit the damage, Dr Harewood and the team at the Epworth hospital use a remarkable robot device called the Da Vinci Machine.
DR LAURENCE HAREWOOD: Oh, lovely. Look at that.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: This is an amazing machine. It's like something out of 'Star Wars'. It allows the greatest amount of flexibility with the least amount of intrusion. That's going to give my mate, Sam, the greatest chance of being OK.
SAM NEWMAN: When faced with these things your body goes... your mind goes into completely different gear and it says, "OK, well, you think you'll be scared when you hear about it" but you just are not, because it's futile being scared.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: Sam has built an entire career out of being fearless. Both on the footy field... ..and, more famously, off it. When Liz Hayes met Sam a few years ago he was making no apologies for who he is. LIZ HAYES: Some of the words that I've read that are used to describe you included: clown, boofhead, arrogant, sexist, biased, bore, unimitgated pig.
SAM NEWMAN: Unmitigated pig? I think I'd draw the line at that, the rest are pretty fair.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: And even last weekend, just days after his diagnosis and facing the greatest challenge of his colourful life, Sam was still the man.
SAM NEWMAN: If everyone would just like to slip into a life jacket, I'll see if I can put the fire out.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: Sam, you're supposed to get cremated afterwards. Sam only confided in a very small group of family and friends including his mate of 45 years,
KEVIN KING: I've gone through all the highs and lows with Sam - I've gone through all his marriages and his girlfriends and all the rest of the problems he has had and if I thought anything would happen to Sam, I'd be absolutely shattered by it.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: This operation has some serious side effects like impotence, has he thought about this?
KEVIN KING: He's had a real laugh about that. He said, "Look I've had a really good innings in that department", and he said, "So if the worst comes to the worst", he said "I'll cop that."
EDDIE MCGUIRE: He won't be fazed by that?
KEVIN KING: Oh, I think it'll keep him out of a lot of trouble, to tell you the truth.
SAM NEWMAN: It won't worry me, because I think the last time I exercised the option was possibly in the late 90s. I think the sex drive drops off just a tad in the early stages.
DR LAURENCE HAREWOOD: That is his prostate there. If we go too close to the prostate we leave cancer, if we go too close to the nerves we destroy them.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: This is delicate stuff - cutting around the nerves that control the penis. The prostate sits between the urethra and the bladder. When it's removed, it leaves a gap that must be bridged by a catheter until it heals.
DR LAURENCE HAREWOOD: Alright, catheter back down.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: This is the critical moment in the operation. This is Sam's prostate, it's about to be removed and then the urethra will be stitched on to the bladder and, hopefully, everything will be OK.
DR LAURENCE HAREWOOD: So, that looks really good to me. I'm very happy with that. We're going to put that in a bag, it looks like a nice specimen.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: The prostate is normally the size of a walnut - Sam's is twice that, swollen with cancer.
DR LAURENCE HAREWOOD: You can see it's a nice clean specimen. We've got no extra tissue on the prostate. You can feel it's hard inside. You can feel the cancer inside there, I am delighted with that specimen. There we are, there's a bit of
EDDIE MCGUIRE: Not the first time a small organ has got him into trouble.
DR LAURENCE HAREWOOD: Is that right? (laughs) I'm not going to comment on that.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Every day, 32 blokes are told they have the disease. Nearly 3,000 men die a year, the same number of women die from breast cancer.
DR LAURENCE HAREWOOD: It's not fair but I guess that's the nature of it. There is a life-time risk of any man getting cancer of the prostate, of 10%. So it can happen to anybody.
TED WHITTEN, OUT-TAKE FROM TV SHOW: It was almost as silly as Elizabeth Taylor saying "ouch" on her last wedding night.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: Sam's great mate AFL superstar Ted Whitten was also 62 when he got prostate cancer. By the time they found it, it was too late.
SAM NEWMAN: Ted was a really tough, strong player and had plenty of injuries and suffered plenty of pain. He probably had the symptoms but thought it would be pretty weak to go to a doctor after all I've been through there's just something wrong with me I don't know what it is I don't know if Ted did that But I got a feeling that by the time he realised there was something wrong it was too late.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: And that's the message then.
SAM NEWMAN: That is the message - just don't ignore the fact that people say you should have a regular check up after you are a certain age. NURSE: Sam, can you open your eyes for us please.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: After five hours on the operating table, Sam is battered and in a lot of pain. You're done, mate. All fixed. It's brutal surgery, it will be days before he's back on his feet and before he knows if the cancer has spread. It all went well.
SAM NEWMAN: I'm sure all of us at some stage have said, "God if you get me through this..."
EDDIE MCGUIRE: Do you think you'll change your persona a little bit, the public persona?
SAM NEWMAN: I can't say that, Ed. I mean, you can't be something you're not. Ah, just not sure how this will all turn out and, ah, when it does you can't tell how you'll face the rest of what life you've got left. It's been a long two and a half weeks. The longest two and a half weeks of my life, Ed. Lying here, wondering what the hell is going to happen.
DR LAURENCE HAREWOOD: Sam, good to see you again. How are you going?
EDDIE MCGUIRE: Finally the moment of truth - when Sam finds out if the cancer's spread beyond the prostate - the difference between life and death.
DR LAURENCE HAREWOOD: Now, Sam, we got your pathology back today, and I'm delighted to say it looks fantastic.
SAM NEWMAN: Just what does that mean, Doc?
DR LAURENCE HAREWOOD: What that means is that the cancer is just inside the prostate, That it hasn't gone out through the capsule and we've got it all out cleanly. So, Sam, I reckon we nailed it. It looks good.
SAM NEWMAN: Well, that's the best news I've ever had in my life.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: It's the best result possible - Sam's cancer has been caught in time. His life's been saved because of that initial blood test.
SAM NEWMAN: That's what would be known as the supreme reprieve, I reckon.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: Sam's exposed himself on TV before - but never like this. By sharing his story so bravely, he hopes other blokes will get the message.
SAM NEWMAN: Please, don't take your life for granted. You never know, it mightn't be there to take granted if you do. So face up to it and do it.
EDDIE MCGUIRE: Be tested?
SAM NEWMAN: Be tested and enjoy life. It makes you enjoy it all the more, it makes it more relevant.