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Posted: September 17, 2022

50-year-old guys should know their PSA scores

Letter to the Editor

September is designated as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in Canada.  Prostate cancer (PCa) kills well over 4,000 Canadian men each year.  The big shame of that is that PCa is nearly 100% treatable when detected early.  If it is left to grow on its own, it leaves the prostate gland and invades the rest of the body.  That’s when it can be fatal.

Statistics show that we expect 24,600 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year.   If the cancer is still within the confines of the prostate gland (a little walnut-sized item that sits just under the bladder) it can be dealt with by surgery or by several different styles of radiation.  This cancer can be beaten if caught early.

Since there are often no symptoms, how do we catch it?  The answer is a simple blood test – usually during a routine physical – to look for prostate specific antigen (PSA).  A higher than normal PSA reading will show the need for further testing.  Prostate Cancer Foundation BC recommends PSA testing for men over 50.  But they further say that if you are at a higher risk (family history of prostate cancer) you should be tested at age 40.

Although the treatments for PCa can cure or eliminate the cancer, they don’t come without some side effects.

At our local support group we often talk about dealing with these effects.  The Cranbrook Prostate Cancer Awareness and Support Group meets at the College of the Rockies on the third Wednesday of every month (except December) at 7 p.m.

Our meetings are open to everyone.  The first half is devoted to information, with a guest speaker or an appropriate video.  The last half is just a bunch of guys talking about how they are coping and what they have been through.

The foundation is running a “Light up in Blue” campaign.  In honour of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, several prominent Canadian landmarks lit up with blue lights throughout the month.  Places like Niagara Falls in Ontario, and the Big Fiddle in Sydney Nova Scotia, and many famous buildings will be under blue lights.  But we have not been able to manage a way to light up Fisher Peak here in the East Kootenay, so Kevin, Henry and Lee are lighting up their houses to mark the month.

So if you are out walking and seeing a blue house, it is a reminder that you should look after your health.  If you are a 50-year-old guy you should know your PSA score.

More information is always available on  Just follow links to support groups for our contacts.

Kevin Higgins,


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