North Okanagan men are being urged to take a stand on their health.
Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation has dedicated June to local men’s health, raising funds and awareness for prostate cancer and heart health.
“People have to be their own advocate and keep in perspective that doctors are very busy people. You don’t realize how many people your doctor can deal with in a day and can’t remember everything about our health. You have to take care of yourself,” said Ed Eyford, a prostate cancer survivor and member of the Vernon Prostate Cancer and Awareness Support Group.
This year, 4,000 Canadian men will die of prostate cancer.
Eyford advises men to get the PSA test (prostate-specific antigen, which measures the level of PSA in a man’s blood) and the digital-rectal test.
“You have to have both and for the test, you need to have a doctor, because the lab has to have somewhere to send your results,” he said.
Beyond his experience with prostate cancer, Eyford suffered a heart attack last year.
“My angiogram showed four blockages requiring quadruple-bypass open heart surgery. One of the blockages was so bad the doctor told me they called it the widow-maker.”
Funds raised during Men’s Health Month will help purchase an ECG machine and trolley for Vernon Jubilee Hospital, free PSA testing for local men and educational materials and support for local prostate cancer patients and survivors.
Donors can also send an online Father’s Day card dedicated to a special man in support of men’s health.
For more information or to donate, vjhfoundation.org/mens-health-month/