Prostate Cancer :: Prostate Specific Antigen Test will help detect prostate cancer earlier, says George Smitherman

Ontario Liberals will take another step forward in its battle against cancer by covering prostate specific antigen (PSA) tests for men over the age of 50, said Health Minister George Smitherman from the Columbus Centre Fitness Club.

“We want to extend men’s lives,” said Smitherman. “We’re urging more men over 50 to get tested for prostate cancer and helping them to get tested by covering the test through OHIP.”

In Canadian men, prostate cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death. However, it’s also one of the most treatable forms of cancer – particularly when it is detected early. The PSA test allows doctors to detect prostate cancer at a very early stage so that treatment can begin.

Ontario Liberals will work with groups such as Cancer Care Ontario, the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society to develop and implement a program for the PSA test for men over the age of 50 – the age at which physicians recommend that men discuss PSA testing with their family doctor.

“The Harris Tory government cut health care and caused wait times for cancer surgeries to rise dramatically. We are bringing them down,” said Smitherman.

In Toronto alone, the Harris Tory party cut funding to hospitals by $170 million in their first two years in office.

Under the Harris Tory party, the Toronto Central Hospital, the Toronto Doctors Hospital, and the Toronto Wellesley Central Hospital all had to close their doors. These hospitals were all important pillars of their respective communities.

When it comes to cancer, Ontario Liberals are reducing cancer surgery wait times, delivering Canada’s first colorectal screening program and building more cancer care centres than ever before.

“Ontario Liberals have made progress but there there’s more to do. Moving forward, we will focus on improving breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening rates and cover both the cost of the PSA test to detect prostate cancer and the HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer,” said Smitherman. “Our positive agenda is working to ensure that publicly funded, publicly delivered health care is back on track, and steadily improving.”