Prostate Cancer Awareness

Spring 2006 CSANews Issue 58  |  Posted date : May 27, 2007.Back to list

Dear Bird Talk,

Today I am writing as a self-appointed poster boy for prostate cancer awareness, to male snowbirds across Canada.

Many of your readers are men, probably well over 55 who may have sons or male relatives in the 40 plus age group.

My message is short. Men, start testing for prostate cancer early. Forty isn’t too soon and if prostate cancer is/was in the family, you should start testing even earlier.

Two tests are simple and fast. The PSA (prostate serum antigen) test is a blood test that can be included along with other laboratory blood work, (however, the physician must specifically request the PSA test on a laboratory form). The other test is a digital rectal exam, known as a DRE. This test is just what the name implies. The examining doctor is able to feel the prostate gland located adjacent to the rectum wall. Abnormal growths are easily identified with the“educated digit”. Ask your doctor what each test identifies.

Biopsies of such growths can be excised, during a more elaborate procedure, performed by a trained specialist, and sent to a laboratory for analysis. This procedure is a bit uncomfortable to some but its nothing too bad and only takes a short time.

Early detection allows for proper treatment and extended lives. If you are not tested regularly, start today.

For additional information please contact the Canadian Prostate Cancer Network at 1-888-939-3333.

John Dobbin, prostate cancer survivor/snowbird, Alberta

Response:
Thanks John. Great advice! It is never too early to be proactive with this condition. Now if we could just get the Health Care System to pay for the PSA Test instead of inconveniencing us with the petty charges for testing we are already taxed for, that would be something…