You may have noticed a spike in facial hair lately. It’s likely due to Movember, an annual event to raise awareness of Prostate cancer, the leading form of cancer diagnosed in Canadian men.
One in seven men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime, and it is responsible for one tenth of deaths in men from cancer. But there is hope, something Albertan Vern Nelson, 69, knows all about.
“When I was diagnosed I was quite surprised,” said Nelson. “I figured that since we caught the cancer early, I would have a good chance of conquering it.”
And conquer it he did. Cancer-free now for more than three years, Nelson is not only grateful to the medical staff that helped him beat the disease, he is also thankful to the other prostate cancer survivors who helped guide him through his journey.
“I met a lot of people who have survived cancer and who have been through it too,” said Nelson. “They give you the information and personal perspectives about what options are available – you get the full picture from the volunteers at the Prostate Cancer Centre.”
The Prostate Cancer Centre (PCC) in Calgary offers six Rapid Access Clinics that provide men rapid access to consultation, diagnosis, information on treatment options, a comprehensive sexual and urinary function clinic, aftercare and wellness seminars.
The PCC also offers a patient Resource Centre staffed with volunteers who offer a personal view; something Nelson went to get immediately after hearing the words “you have cancer”.
“It is great having the urologists in the same building as the Resource Centre,” said Nelson. “You are able to get the medical facts and information from the urologist and then come straight over to the centre and get further information and talk with other men who have been through the cancer that you have just been diagnosed with.”
The centre offers information sessions free to men with prostate cancer, and their families, to learn of the various treatment options available. Experts of all fields are on hand to present the unbiased facts of what patients can do to combat their prostate cancer.
For more information on the services available at the PCC visit www.albertahealthservices.ca or call Health Link Alberta at 1-866-408-5465. For general information on prostate cancer visit www.myhealth.alberta.ca.
(Alberta Health Services)