34 per cent of Canadians confuse prostate cancer as a disease that can
affect both men and women
TORONTO, Sept. 17, 2012 /CNW/ - According to a recent Leger Marketing
poll, 14 per cent of Canadians believe women can be diagnosed with
prostate cancer, and an additional 20 per cent aren't sure. Only 56 per
cent know with certainty that men are the only ones who can be
September 17th to 23rd is Prostate Cancer Awareness Week. The survey findings demonstrate that
continued, basic prostate cancer education is still a critical need
among many Canadians. "It is clear that people are still confused about
the disease," said Aaron Bacher, Immediate Past Chairman of Prostate
Cancer Canada Network - Toronto (PCCN-Toronto). "As the most common
cancer affecting Canadian men, we need to be clear on what the disease
is, the importance of being screened, early detection, and what the
treatment options are once a diagnosis is made."
Understanding Prostate Cancer
Prevalence: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer to affect Canadian men - one
in seven will develop the disease in their lifetime (an estimated
26,500 will be diagnosed in 2012)i, similar to the incidence of breast cancer in women (an estimated
22,700 will be diagnosed in 2012).ii Thirty-six per cent of Canadians are unaware of these statistics and 33
per cent believe that more women get breast cancer than men get
Causes: While it remains unclear what causes prostate cancer, some risk factors
may increase a man's risk of developing the disease:
Older Age: The risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age and
is most common in men over 65.iii Forty-four per cent of respondents, however, believe that men are most
likely to be in their 40s at the time of diagnosis.
Race: Prostate cancer is more common in men of African or Caribbean
descent, and less common in men of Asian descent.iv
Family history: Those with a family history of prostate cancer may be at
a higher risk of developing the disease.v Sixty-nine per cent of respondents either disagreed or didn't know that
there is a hereditary link to prostate cancer.
Diet: A low-fibre, high-fat diet puts men at a higher risk of prostate
cancer.vi Seventy per cent of survey respondents either disagreed or didn't know
that there is a link between prostate cancer and diet.
Diagnosis: Since prostate cancer can develop in men with no risk factors, PSA
blood tests and digital rectal examinations are available to help
detect cancer early. Eighty-seven per cent of Canadians agreed that men
should be tested regularly.
Treatment: If detected and treated in its earliest stages, a man's chances of
survival can be greatly increased.vii Eighty-seven per cent of respondents believe that prostate cancer is
treatable and 74 per cent agree that it is curable.
Dealing with Prostate Cancer
The survey also probed Canadians' perceptions of what would be the most
difficult things to deal with if confronted with a diagnosis of
prostate cancer. Men, thinking about having prostate cancer themselves,
and women, thinking about their partner or a loved one, were closely
aligned in their responses. In fact, each group ranked worrying/losing
hope, knowing my illness has an impact on my loved ones and my
children, and being unable to access the best or new treatments as
their projected top three stresses.
"We need to remember," says Bacher, "that beyond the physical disease,
prostate cancer can have a profound emotional impact on both the
patient and their family. Understanding the emotional struggle of the
patient's whole team, so to speak, is essential to understanding and
helping them along their prostate cancer journey."
"Ignorance and fear are often barriers to men being diligent and honest
about their health," explains Dr. Luc Valiquette, M.D., FRCS (C),
Director, Department of Surgery, Urologic Surgery Specialist,
Université de Montréal. "In the case of prostate cancer, it may be
especially difficult for a patient to communicate what they are feeling
or what they need. It is reassuring, looking at these survey results,
to see that men and women seem to instinctively identify and appreciate
the same challenges. In fact, emotional supports can be as important as
About Prostate Cancer Canada Network - Toronto
PCCN-Toronto is a volunteer based, non-profit prostate cancer support
group, run by prostate cancer survivors who help men diagnosed with
this disease. (www.pccntoronto.ca)
About the Research
The survey was completed online by Leger marketing from July 30, 2012 to
August 1, 2012 with a sample of 1500 Canadians. A probability sample of
the same size would yield a margin of error of ±2.5 %, 19 times out of
20. The survey was funded by Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc (www.astellas.ca).
SOURCE: Astellas Pharma Canada, Inc.
For further information:
For more information about the omnibus survey, or to speak with someone about the content of this release, please contact:
416-425-9143 ext. 17