Canadian Prostate Cancer Network - Blood test important in this election



    TORONTO, Sept. 19 /CNW/ - The PSA blood test, presently costing Ontario
men from $20.00 to $35.00 dollars has been OHIP included in the Liberal
party's election health initiative.
    Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is an antigen produced primarily by the
male prostate gland. It often increases with the onset of cancer and can be an
early warning sign, providing time for cure.
    The Canadian Prostate Cancer Network has asked the other two major
parties to state their position whether they too would include the test in
OHIP paid procedures but they have not yet responded.
    "It may seem like a small sum, but our research has shown that the lack
of inclusion in paid procedures has inhibited the otherwise necessary use of
this test," says Wally Seeley Executive Director of the Network.

    Liberals will pay for PSA test

    Ontario's 2,850,000 men over the age of 40 will be able to have a free
PSA test if the Liberals are elected next month. As part of their election
health initiative, the Liberals will have OHIP pick up the cost of the test.
Currently it costs men in Ontario between $20 and $35 to have the test done.
    The PSA test measures Prostate Specific Antigen in the blood. This
antigen, produced by the male prostate gland, often increases with the onset
of cancer and can be an early warning sign of trouble ahead. Although, like
mammograms for women, the test does produce false negatives, but it remains
the only way a man can find out early, when a cure is often possible, if he
has prostate cancer.
    This is an important issue for Ontario men as one is six will get
prostate cancer in their lifetime and each year more than 4,000 Canadian men
die of the disease. The PSA test is government funded in every Canadian
province except Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.
    "It may seem like a small sum, but our research has shown that the lack
of inclusion in paid procedures has inhibited the otherwise necessary use of
this test," says Wally Seeley Executive Director of the Network. "Further," he
said, "it's an acknowledgement of the importance of men's health and it will
save lives."
    The Canadian Prostate Cancer Network has asked the other two major
parties to state their position as to whether they would include the test in
OHIP paid procedures. They have not responded.





For further information:

For further information: Wally Seeley, Executive Director, Secretary
Treasurer, Canadian Prostate Cancer Network, 3278 Lakefield Rd., PO Box 1253,
Lakefield, ON K0L 2H0, P: (705) 652-9200, Toll Free 1-866-810-2726, C: (705)
772-9201, F: (705) 652-0663, E: cpcn@nexicom.net, www.cpcn.org

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THE CANADIAN PROSTATE CANCER NETWORK

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