Prostate cancer group marks special week

Guest speaker to discuss men's health at Cranbrook event

Prostate Cancer Awareness Week takes place from September 17-23. The week will be marked with events across the country to engage and inform Canadians about the importance of prevention, education and early detection of prostate cancer — the most common cancer to affect Canadian men.

Prostate cancer affects as many men as breast cancer affects women. One in seven men will develop prostate cancer during his lifetime and one in 28 will die of it.

When detected early, by using a simple blood test and by having a digital exam in a doctor’s office, there is a good chance that the cancer can be beaten. However, once the cancer advances beyond the prostate gland and into the bones, it is deadly.

Prostate cancer has no symptoms in its earliest, most curable stage — so men over 40 are urged to talk to their doctor about prostate cancer risk and PSA blood testing. The PSA test will give an indication whether further testing is necessary.

The Cranbrook chapter of the Prostate Cancer Canada Network (PCCN – Cranbrook), a prostate cancer awareness and support group, will present Dr. Steven Schieman at their regular meeting on Wednesday, September 19 at 7 p.m. in the main building at the College of the Rockies. Dr. Schieman will be speaking about men’s health as it pertains to prostate issues. All members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting.

PCCN – Cranbrook has been holding meetings since the group was revived in 2008. Meetings start with an information session or a guest speaker, and the second half involves men sharing their individual experiences with the disease and the side effects of its treatment.

All men are susceptible to this disease, but those with a family history of prostate cancer and those of African or Caribbean descent are at greater risk of developing it. This year 26,500 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. About 4,100 Canadian men will die of prostate cancer this year.

Anyone wishing to be involved with the support group, or wanting to know more about it can call Kevin Higgins (250-427-3322) or Dennis Parsons (250-489-5249). There is no fee to join, and no one is required to speak at any of the meetings.

PCCN – Cranbrook is affiliated with Prostate Cancer Canada (PCC) and with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of BC (PCFBC), both registered charities.