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What do Rudolf Guiliani, Pierre Trudeau, Sir Roger Moore and General Norman Schwartzkopf have in common? A diagnosis of prostate cancer.
The prostate is a spherical gland in men, roughly the size of walnut, located below the bladder. The cause of prostate cancer is not yet known, but factors such as age, race, family history and diet can increase the risk.
Prostate cancer is usually a slow-growing disease, although some cancers grow and spread quickly. On average 362 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer every week, and 81 will die of it. Up to 20,000 Canadian men are diagnosed each year. Yet there is reason for hope.
Since 1988, the death rate has dropped by 10 per cent. With early detection, the survival rate is very high, about 87 per cent. Diagnosis is becoming faster and more accurate, and we are learning more about risk factors and measures to prevent the disease.
Treatments for prostate cancer include surgery, cryosurgery, brachytherapy, radiation, and hormone therapy. Choosing the treatment for prostate cancer is a personal decision as well as a medical one, and must take into account the age of the patient, his general health, and the spread and aggressiveness of the cancer.
Education and research are the keys to success in the diagnosis and treatment of prostate disease.
In London, we have many physicians who specialize in the management of prostate cancer. The local medical community is a national leader in research. With your help, research at the London Health Sciences Centre will benefit many patients living with prostate cancer.
Men living with prostate cancer, and their families, are fortunate to have a number of sources of information and support available locally. The London Prostate Cancer Information and Support Group is an important resource.
Since 1988, prostate cancer incidence rates have risen by 30 per cent. The Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada estimates that some five million men are in their prostate cancer-risk years and the number of new cases is expected to double over the next decade, as Baby Boomers age.