September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness, funding research, and supporting those living with prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer to affect Canadian men – including our fathers, brothers, and grandfathers. One in nine men will be diagnosed with this disease in their lifetime.1
The good news is that our country has made significant progress. Since the Prostate Cancer Canada foundation was created in 1994, the national mortality rate for men diagnosed with prostate cancer has decreased by 50%.1 However, it’s important to continue to make strides to improve the quality of life and outcomes of those living with this disease.
What is Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer develops in the prostate gland and is defined by abnormally functioning cells. This slow-growing cancer may live in a man’s body without obvious signs or symptoms; therefore, regular testing and early detection are key to better outcomes.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
The most common symptoms of prostate cancer include:2
- Difficulty or an inability to urinate
- Urgent and frequent need to urinate (especially at night)
- A burning feeling or pain when urinating
- Discovering blood in the urine or semen
Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer
It’s important to know that there are some risk factors men cannot change which may increase their chances of getting prostate cancer in their lifetime.
Men over the age of 50
To encourage early detection, it is recommended that men start getting tested once they turn 50.3 Men under 50 who have other risk factors present should consider speaking with their doctor earlier to determine when the most appropriate time is to begin getting tested.
Black men have an increased risk of getting prostate cancer than the general population.4 There is no definitive reason why this disparity exists.4
Family history of prostate cancer
If a family member has been previously diagnosed with prostate cancer, then you have an increased risk of getting this type of cancer.3 This is particularly the case when the family member is a first-degree relative such as your father or brother.3
How to Prevent Prostate Cancer?
Regular screenings with your doctor
Early detection helps reduce the chance that the disease advances. When prostate cancer is detected late and left untreated, research shows that three out of four men will pass away.1 Getting screened for prostate cancer regularly (for most men this is every two to three years) can increase the chance of early detection.5 If detected early, prostate cancer has almost a 100% recovery rate.1
Healthy diet and exercise
One way to help reduce the risk of being diagnosed with this disease is to maintain a healthy body weight. Some studies have shown that men who are overweight or obese are at an increased risk of getting prostate cancer.6
Therefore, a low-fat diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables in combination with regular physical activity such as walking, hiking, swimming, cycling, etc. can be a line of defense against this disease.
Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer
There are a variety of treatment options for those living with prostate cancer depending on the stage of the disease, these include: chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, among others.7 See a full list of treatment options here.
Life Insurance and Prostate Cancer
Get life insurance to safeguard your loved ones with the financial protection and coverage they need in case you are diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Contrary to popular belief, depending on the life insurance provider, you may be able to qualify for affordable life insurance if you currently have or previously had prostate cancer. No medical life insurance is a great option for the hard to insure, since the application process doesn’t require any medical tests or medical exams (no needles). It involves answering some health-related questions and your policy can be issued in just a few days.
Although, it’s important to know that the type of cancer, stage of the disease, family history, and current health status may affect your life insurance eligibility and how much your premiums will cost.
Critical illness insurance
If you have critical illness insurance in place prior to a Prostate Cancer diagnosis you can use this living benefit to support yourself or your loved ones during a challenging time. The benefit can be used for any expenses related or unrelated to your disease that you may want to cover. For instance, if you’re undergoing treatment for Prostate Cancer and cannot work, you could use the benefit as income replacement.
Ways to Honour Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
Leave a Legacy
Through your life insurance policy, you can name the Prostate Cancer Canada foundation as a beneficiary. This is a way one can continue to support the foundation’s efforts in increasing awareness and making progress for those living with the disease.
The foundation has a number of opportunities that you can raise your hand to volunteer for. Discover ways you can volunteer here.
Raise funds by participating in the many initiatives the foundation organizes to support those affected by prostate cancer such as Movember, Plaid for Dad, Step Up Challenge and more. See a full list of events here.
Canada Protection Plan offers No Medical and Simplified Issue Life Insurance, a life insurance option that can give those who currently have or previously had prostate cancer the opportunity to get the coverage they need to financially protect their loved ones.
- 1 https://www.prostatecancer.ca/Prostate-Cancer/About-Prostate-Cancer/Statistics
- 2 https://www.prostatecancer.ca/Prostate-Cancer/About-Prostate-Cancer/Signs-and-Symptoms
- 3 https://www.prostatecancer.ca/Prostate-Cancer/About-Prostate-Cancer/Risk-Factors
- 4 https://www.prostatecancer.ca/Prostate-Cancer/Care-and-Support-Post-Treatment/Black-Men-Prostate-Cancer
- 5 https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/prostate-cancer/prostate-cancer-age-specific-screening-guidelines
- 6 https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/obesity-and-prostate-cancer
- 7 https://www.prostatecancer.ca/Prostate-Cancer/Treatment/Treatment-Options