Masonic Foundation Of Ontario

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Public Education for Prostate Cancer—the First Line of Defense

Masonic Foundation of Ontario sponsors innovative education program for men and their families

In 2009, 11,200 Ontario men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. This represents close to half of the 25,500 cases that will be identified Canada-wide this year. In addition, 1,650 Ontarians will die of the disease—representing 38 per cent of all prostate cancer deaths across the country.

These numbers illustrate a significant health issue. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, with rates of incidence and mortality similar to those of breast cancer in women. During their lifetime, 1 in 6 Canadian men will be diagnosed with the disease, and this is expected to rise to 1 in 4 within a decade.

Even with this rising threat, public awareness of the threat of prostate cancer remains low. Unless men and their families are aware of prostate cancer and understand the value of screening, they won’t know what questions to ask their doctor about the disease — if they know to ask at all.

“Rising rates of prostate cancer incidence are a problem across the country, but particularly in Ontario which has the highest proportion of new cases each year compared to other provinces,” said Steve Jones, President & CEO of Prostate Cancer Canada. “The best thing a man can do is know the facts and get tested regularly, starting with a baseline test at age 40. This will give him his best odds of successful treatment if he happens to be diagnosed with the disease.”

One of the biggest challenges facing Prostate Cancer Canada is the dissemination of clear and concise information about prostate cancer to audiences across the country. Thankfully, the Masonic Foundation of Ontario has stepped in to help solve this problem.

Thanks to a donation of $120,000 from the MFO, in 2009, Prostate Cancer Canada will develop the Prostate Cancer Canada Public Education Program, a comprehensive overview of the disease including: prevention and risk factors; early detection and PSA screening; treatment options and their side effects; and life following treatment.

The format will not only standardize a wealth of information and make it dynamic and engaging to all audiences, but it will also be packaged so that non-experts can deliver the presentation themselves and answer basic questions at the conclusion. Program elements will be reviewed for accuracy and edited by members of Prostate Cancer Canada's Scientific and Medical Advisory Committee. This committee is comprised of some of the leading surgical, medical and radiation oncologists in Canada.

The program will include a PowerPoint presentation and speaker's notes, a short video featuring insights from doctors, researchers and survivors and their families, information brochures for attendees, and resources to promote an event and provide feedback to Prostate Cancer Canada.

The support of the Masonic Foundation of Ontario will not only help in the creation of this package, but also in its promotion to the public and dissemination to corporate and community groups across the province.

The program is expected to roll out this fall, beginning with media announcements during Prostate Cancer Awareness Week (September 2009).

About Prostate Cancer Canada
Prostate Cancer Canada is the only national foundation dedicated to eliminating the most common cancer in men. We raise funds for the development of programs related to awareness, public education, advocacy, support of those affected, and research into the prevention, detection, treatment and cure of prostate cancer. For more information, visit