With an awkward laugh between them, the males of Midland council shifted in their seats figuratively while passing a motion in support of an initiative put forward by the Town of Cochrane this summer, asking the upper levels of government to include the early detection PSA (prostate-specific antigen) test for men into the national healthcare system.
The motion was brought forward by Coun. Carole McGinn, who simply said, “Men, your health matters.”
In the silence following the comment, Coun. Bill Gordon waggled his index finger in view of the virtual meeting, signifying the shorthand for the male prostate exam and prompting surprised laughter from McGinn and other members of council.
“There’s nothing enjoyable about that awkward moment where you’re on your side looking at the wall,” described Gordon to the public, “and trying either not to talk to your doctor or talk about the Jays game or something, while the fickle finger of fate does its thing.
“But you know what? You’ve got to do it, guys. It’s so easy to remedy, it’s so detectable early, and it’s completely survivable.
“I know it’s normally exit-only, but you’ve got to make an exception every couple of years as you get older, okay? So hit the doc up; they’re not enjoying it any more than you are,” Gordon concluded among laughter from council.
Coun. Cody Oschefski also imparted that blood and urine samples would provide a thorough diagnostic that could change how a person exercises and diets.
“I’m at that point where they encourage that you get all your diagnostic tests done, and I’ve been in some… poking and prodding sessions in the past little while,” said Oschefski, adding that one’s health is easier to manage overall with earlier screening tests.
In the original letter to Prime Minister Trudeau, Cochrane town council wrote that 11 men die of avoidable prostate cancer each day, and 1.5 million Canadian men do not seek the early detection PSA testing which costs $33 for each test which, when detected, elevates the survival rate close to 100%.
Prostate cancer is the leading cause of new cancer cases among males in both Simcoe Muskoka as well as Ontario, according to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU). Further information on prostate cancer can be found on the prostate cancer incidence page of the SMDHU website.
Council meetings are held on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, and can be viewed on Rogers TV cable channel 53, or through the livestream on the Rogers TV website. Archives of council meetings are available through Rogers TV and on the Town of Midland’s YouTube channel.
Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, MidlandToday.ca