Calgary Herald Editorial: Life Saver

Re: “Halt to prostate cancer screening urged,” Oct. 28.

I was deeply disappointed, actually outraged, by the guidelines released by the Canadian Task Force for Preventive Health Care recommending against the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test. I firmly believe the PSA test saved my life. If the government and medical community had adopted the task force’s recommendations a few years ago, I might not be here to write this letter.

My initial symptoms were negligible and could have been due to any number of common ailments. We monitored my PSA and I was referred to a urologist. My PSA gave me a benchmark until the cancer was found on a second biopsy.

As a result of the PSA test, I chose a treatment and I am still here seven years later, with no signs of cancer and a great life.

To fight this cancer, we started the Motorcycle Ride For Dad in Calgary and I sit on the board for Prostaid Calgary, a member of Prostate Cancer Canada Network.

Our biggest goals are to enlighten and encourage men to get tested. The PSA has been our best ally and lives have been saved. With no better alternative, this task force has set us back a decade by telling men not to get tested. What else would you call it? Early detection is key. If not the PSA test, then what test will allow men to know their risk of prostate cancer and plan their course of action? Don’t tell men to just talk to their doctor. We know that won’t work.

Approximately six men a day die from prostate cancer in Canada.

Rick Brown


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