A prostate cancer survivor shares his story to help turn fear into hope
“You have prostate cancer.” In Canada, 1 in 9 men will hear these words in their lifetime. These four words can lead to a lot of questions, and for anyone that hears them, they may go through many emotions. This is normal. As the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, the Canadian Cancer Society is here to provide information and support that can help make a real difference – because no one should face prostate cancer alone.
A prostate cancer diagnosis can come as a surprise – many older men may have the disease without knowing it. It can grow slowly and often doesn’t cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages. But, when prostate cancer is found and treated early, the chances of successful treatment are better.
Meet Brian, who faced a prostate cancer diagnosis of his own and learn why he’s sharing his story to help turn fear into hope for others.
Brian’s wife was the first to suspect something was wrong when he was having trouble going to the bathroom and she encouraged him to go see a doctor.
When Brian told his doctor he was having trouble urinating, his doctor ordered a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test for him. This blood test is a key step in detecting prostate cancer early. It cannot diagnose cancer, but it can help determine if there might be a problem with the prostate.
“I was 55 and I’d never had a PSA test done before,” shares Brian. “It’s normal to have a small amount of PSA in your blood. But my numbers were pretty high, which led to more tests and a biopsy. Long story short, I had stage 3 prostate cancer. I was stunned.”
On his doctor’s recommendation, Brian turned to our website for accurate and trusted information to help him through his journey.
“It helped me find answers through a tough time,” reveals Brian. “I found good support materials online at the Canadian Cancer Society website. They provided valuable resources and information and better equipped me to discuss my options with my doctor.”
With 2,400 pages of information on our website, 50 downloadable brochures and booklets, and 1,300 cancer-related terms defined in our online glossary, we’re here to help Canadians like Brian navigate cancer at every stage – from prevention to diagnosis and treatment to life after cancer.
“I have the expectation that I’m going to live to be 95,” says Brian.
Before his diagnosis, Brian never thought twice about prostate cancer, but now he encourages others to take control of their prostate health.
“My advice for people facing prostate cancer is to reach out to the Canadian Cancer Society for support. And for men feeling unsure or embarrassed to get a PSA test, get it done sooner rather than later,” says Brian. “I should have had a PSA done at the age of 50. It’s the best test for early detection. Ask your doctor about it and get on top of your prostate health.”
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The services and support materials that helped Brian along his cancer journey were made possible by the funds donated by everyday Canadians. You can show your support for people like Brian – help us continue to provide a compassionate support system to people affected by cancer across the country and invest in game-changing research that could save more lives by finding new ways to detect, treat and prevent cancer.
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Join us in supporting the men in our lives – show that together, we can create a world where no Canadian fears prostate cancer. And in honour of this important month, when you donate by September 30, Janssen Inc. will match your donation* dollar-for-dollar!
*Donations matched up to $20,000