I have a professional interest in the risks associated with prostate cancer. As a life underwriter, I come across prostate disorders all too often, and it’s my job to know how to assess the risk associated with these conditions appropriately. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, Prostate cancer is “the most common cancer among Canadian men (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers). It is the third leading cause of death from cancer in men in Canada”. From the same source, “Based on 2010 estimates, about 1 in 8 Canadian men is expected to develop prostate cancer during his lifetime and 1 in 27 will die from it.”
In addition to my professional interest, I also have a personal interest in the risks associated with prostate cancer, ever since my father was diagnosed with it five years ago. Obviously, any cancer diagnosis is a shock to one’s entire family; the stress and anxiety associated with the tests and consultations, and the decisions that have to be made, only make a difficult situation worse. Luckily, the cancer was detected very early, the surgery he received only required a short hospital stay and the recovery process was measured in months. In his case, no further treatment was required after the surgery and every follow-up exam has been clear. My family’s experience can be seen as a “best case scenario”. Regular exams and rapid treatment saved my father’s life. However, my dad still needs to be vigilant about his health, and so do I and my brothers. Family history is an important component of prostate cancer risk.