The flag was hoisted outside Milton Town Hall on Thursday, September 5th as Mayor Gord Krantz accompanied by Tom Fischer, a Vice-President of Prostate Cancer Canada, and Walter Eadie, a local prostate cancer activist and support group leader proclaimed September as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in Milton.

Mayor Krantz and Walter Eadie are prostate cancer survivors so bringing attention to the disease that will affect 1 in 7 men in Canada is particularly heartfelt. Both know that early testing and detection is key to ensuring a successful outcome. Statistics show that early detection makes a major difference.

Prostate cancer detected early can be cured and men go on to lead normal lives. PC detected later, in some cases, can be controlled, but not cured. Recurrence and further treatment will always be an issue. Depending on the severity of the disease and the aggressive treatment required, quality of life will be impaired.

Unfortunately, it is estimated that 4000+ men will succumb to PC this year across Canada. Mayor Krantz says that he was never one to downplay the importance of yearly check-ups though he recognizes that some men are reluctant to make them a priority. “I was a volunteer firefighter for quite a few years back in the day and it was mandatory that you have a medical examination every year. I always was of the mind to take care of myself, so nothing really changed.” “So about 5 years ago, I went for my medical as I usually do and had the procedures done including the PSA.

My family doctor called me back two or three days later and said we may have an issue here. He wanted me to have the test done again. A few weeks later after visiting By Margaret Anne Fehr specialists and so forth, it was confirmed that I had prostate cancer but in an early stage.” “It made me realize that it’s important to get yourself checked out every year because, believe it or not, I felt fine.

You don’t think there’s anything wrong but there is. So I know what people are going through. I’ve been there; done that. Don’t want to do it again.” Walter Eadie experienced a different scenario. “I had regular PSA tests from my family doctor from age 50. My PSA jumped in 2010. A biopsy showed I had intermediate stage PC. I opted for surgery and that was done in January 2011 at age 65.” “A friend of my wife told us about a prostate support group at Wellspring Cancer Support House in Oakville”

“I became interested in all that I heard and the stories of other men. After a couple of years, I gradually took on more of a leadership role in the group (with a few others) and it has grown from there. I am retired and have the time to devote to it. I have a science background and inquiring mind and I’ve learned lots more about PC that I can share, in layman’s terms, with fellow support group members.”

Walter notes that the flag raising ceremony at Milton Town Hall wasn’t just attended by men, but also their wives. “It is important to acknowledge that it is often the wives and partners who encourage, prod and push their men to ‘go talk to the doctor’ and ‘go get something done about it’. “ Walter explains that prostate cancer is very similar to breast cancer.

“Both are hormone-driven diseases and have very similar statistics in terms of incidence of disease and annual deaths. Breast cancer has a higher profile because women go to their doctors; women talk about it more and women are more active in creating awareness and the need for research for a cure. Thankfully, many women save their husbands’ lives the same way.” For further information, consult Prostate Cancer Canada

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