The Importance of Prostate Cancer

Awareness Month

 Did you know that 1 in 8 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, making it the most common cancer in men? 

If so, you’re in the minority. 

According to an IPSOS Reid poll of 1000 Canadian men over the age of 35 that was conducted in July of this year, 80 per cent of men are not aware of their chances of developing prostate cancer.

Bridging this gap in public knowledge is crucial. If men – the least likely of the sexes to talk about their own health in the first place – don’t know that their chances of developing prostate cancer are as high as they are, they will be less likely to start a conversation with their doctor to better understand their risk.  Considering that the survival rate for prostate cancer is more than 90 per cent when detected early, it becomes clear why starting that conversation early is so important.

This need for greater public education is why we have designated September Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, a month dedicated toward engaging and connecting the public, media, academia, and government around a disease that affects us all on some level. Whether it’s a cutting-edge research announcement, a special news feature, a public service announcement, a fundraising event, or a landmark that has been illuminated blue, Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is geared towards spreading the word in as accurate, diverse, and widespread a manner possible.

While deaths from prostate cancer have dropped by approximately 40% over the past 20 years, an estimated 4,100 Canadian men will die from the disease in 2015 alone. A lot of work remains to be done to reduce that number even further, and a valuable starting place is the collective understanding and active participation that comes with broader awareness.  And right here in B.C., the more we understand the more likely and better equipped we are to come together and truly make a difference, whether it be sharing information, making a donation to research, or dialing your health care provider’s number.  

 

Prostate Cancer Canada at UBCM

The District of Powell River and the City of North Vancouver have sponsored a motion at UBCM encouraging all municipalities to declare September as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Next year our goal will be a motion to get the Province to pay for free, universal PSA testing the way they do for mammograms for women. 

Prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, is a protein produced by cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in a man's blood. For this test, a blood sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis. 

BC and Ontario are the only two provinces in Canada that do NOT currently pay for PSA testing. If you are interested in getting tested yourself, Prostate Cancer Canada will have a booth at UBCM conducting free PSA tests.

 

  

APPENDIX I

PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

September 2015

WHEREAS prostate cancer is the most common cancer to affect Canadian men; 

AND WHEREAS 1 in 8 Canadian men will be diagnosed with the disease in his lifetime; 

AND WHEREAS an estimated 23,600 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year; 

AND WHEREAS the survival rate for prostate cancer can be over 90% when detected early; 

AND WHEREAS those with a family history of the disease, or those of African or Caribbean descent, are at a greater risk of developing prostate cancer; 

AND WHEREAS Prostate Cancer Canada recommends that men get a PSA test in their 40s to establish their baseline:

THEREFORE I, <Name> , of the <city/town> of <location>, do hereby proclaim September 2015 as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in <location>.

 

 

APPENDIX II

SEPTEMBER PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

UBCM RESOLUTION

WHEREAS 1 in 8 men in British Columbia will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime representing the number one cancer risk to men;

AND WHEREAS the economic, family and social costs to our province would be significantly diminished through increased awareness and early detection:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM request the provincial government proclaim September as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month to ensure men and their loved ones are aware of the need for early detection.