Victoria Square will be lit up in blue from Sept. 1 to Sept. 18, 2022, in recognition of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
“Prostate cancer is the No. 1 cancer in men,” Mayor David Kogon said, on behalf of the Amherst town council. “I encourage men to learn about this cancer and the steps that can be taken to prevent and treat it.”
Amherst will be one of several communities across the nation that is partaking in the Light Up in Blue campaign that is the initiative of Prostate Cancer Support Canada and Prostate Cancer Foundation BC. The campaign will see landmarks, bridges and buildings across the country lit up in blue.
Prostate Cancer Support Canada’s website notes the prostate is a walnut-sized gland that is part of a man’s reproductive and urinary system and is located just below the bladder.
There is no known cause of prostate cancer, which is the most prevalent cancer among Canadian men. It accounts for 20 per cent of new cancer cases in men and is the third leading cause of cancer death in males. Four per cent of men are expected to die from prostate cancer.
The website states one in eight Canadian men are expected to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. The cancer typically affects men 50 years of age and older.
It is not clear why, but African-Canadian and Caribbean-Canadian men are at the highest risk of developing prostate cancer. Having a family history of prostate cancer or if the breast cancer gene in a family increases a man’s predisposition to developing the cancer. A high-calorie, high-fat diet and obesity may also play a role in increasing the risk of getting prostate cancer.
The website notes the five-year survival rate of prostate cancer patients, when it is caught early and localized, is nearly 100 per cent. The rate drops to 95 per cent for those with locally advanced cancer and 30 per cent for men with metastatic prostate cancer.
That is why men, especially those older than 50 years, should regularly schedule digital rectal exams and PSA tests after discussing the matter with their health-care provider.