It is important to keep on top of your health -- even if it is an uncomfortable topic.
Since September is Men’s Cancer Awareness Month, the Canadian Cancer Society is asking men to be aware of the cancers they may be at risk of getting.
“During September, the Canadian Cancer Society encourages men to take an active role in maintaining their health to reduce the risk of getting cancer,” cancer control co-ordinator Doreen Callander said.
There are four common cancers -- including colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer and skin cancer -- that can be detected early by having a doctor check your signs and symptoms or by having an early screening test, Callander said.
“We have a really handy thing to remind men what they need to talk to their doctor about,” Callander said. “It is called a reminder for life. (It is) a free online service that they can sign up for and then what they will do is receive an annual reminder about what they need to talk to their doctor in regards to early detection and screening for cancer based on their age.”
Callander said having a reminder takes a lot of pressure off when it comes to talking to a physician.
“A lot of times we forget what we need to ask our doctor, so this is a great little reminder to have and then they can take that information to the doctor and have that conversation,” Callander said. “We really encourage men to be aware of their body, so if there are changes going on that they go and get them checked out, that they talk to their doctor about a screening test for cancer.”
Not only do they encourage men to talk with their doctors, Callander said they would also like men to live well, be aware and get involved when it comes to their health.
“We encourage them to (make) healthy choices because we know that over half of all cancers can be prevented through healthy living and policies that protect the health of Canadians,” Callander said. “Live well is around making those healthy choices, be aware is about knowing your body and getting things checked out if there is something not quite right and getting involved is making change and fighting for change to reduce cancer risk not only for yourself, but for others.”
Callander said often men’s cancers are not discussed, not because they don’t happen but it is a touchy subject for many.
“I think what the problem is men in general would probably just like to avoid the subject,” Callander said. “We are just trying to make them a little more aware.”
This year, the ambassador for Men’s Cancer Awareness Month is Costa Maragos of CBC.
“He is really encouraging men to check under the hood,” Callander said. “You take the time to check your car so why don’t you take the time to get your body checked out. We know early detection and screening can save lives.”
The Prince Albert branch of the Cancer Society is hosting a luncheon at the golf and curling club on Thursday.
“Dr. Randy Friesen and Ken Wiest, they are going to be facilitating and speaking,” Prince Albert Canadian Cancer Society manager Charlene Bernard said. “They are trying to have it interactive, informal lunch to get men involved in their personal cancer care, things they should know about early detection and prevention and men’s health.”
Tickets cost $11 each and can be purchased through the Prince Albert branch or by calling 306-764-4808. For more information about men’s cancers, visit www.menshealthforlife.com.