FREDERICTON (GNB) – September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

“Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer affecting Canadian men,” said Health Minister Victor Boudreau. “But the survival rate for prostate cancer can be more than 90 per cent when the disease is detected early. That is why I encourage all men to talk to their health-care practitioner about their prostate cancer risk factors.”

In 2015 in New Brunswick, it was estimated that 780 men would be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 95 would die from the disease in the same year.

To date, the only well-established risk factors for prostate cancer are older age, family history and ethnicity. Many prostate cancers are slow-growing and may not require immediate treatment, especially if diagnosed at an early stage.

Currently, there is a lack of consensus on the role of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing and PSA testing is not recommended as a population-based screening tool for men of average risk (asymptomatic men). As such, no organized population-based screening programs for prostate cancer exist in Canada.

Several Canadian organizations recommend an informed decision-making approach to PSA testing, based on discussions between individual men and their physicians about personal risks for developing prostate cancer and the potential benefits and risks.

“The Prostate Cancer Canada Network is extremely grateful for the support received from the Province of New Brunswick in raising awareness of the issue of prostate cancer,” said Peter Mallette, executive director of Prostate Cancer Canada for the Atlantic region. “There are on average two men a day diagnosed with prostate cancer in New Brunswick, and those two cases are two too many.”

The Prostate Cancer Canada Network is comprised of more than 70 prostate cancer support groups that provide services at the grassroots level, through monthly peer meetings, special educational events, outreach programs and presentations to service clubs, community health fairs and more.

To find a support group near you, visit the network’s website or call 1-888-255-0333.