November 1st, 2015

Dispelling the myths about Prostate cancer

One in eight Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime.


Prostate cancer will kill close to 4,100 Canadian men in 2015, yet somehow most of us believe it to be the cancer a man dies with and not from. This simply isn’t true. The myth came about when autopsies showed that many older men have low grade cancers in their prostate glands. (Roughly 70 per cent of men between 70 and 79 years of age are diagnosed with prostate cancer after their death.) Low grade cancers can stay put for many years, even decades, and not give rise to metastases, and it is true that the type of cancer that affects senior men is usually low grade. However, many men, including those in their 40s and 50s, die from more aggressive prostate cancers that spread quickly to the bones, or soft tissues of the body. These types of aggressive cancers are becoming more prevalent.


April 22nd, 2014

Lifestyle and Cancer Prevention

old-couple-drinking-coffeCancer is a complex disease with many contributing factors. It is essential to know, however, that a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk of getting cancer by up to 50%. This powerful statement is based on research that has been accumulating over the past 60 years.


January 5th, 2014

Is there really a cancer personality?

If you follow social media that focuses on health and well being, you will likely have come across posts or articles on the “cancer personality.” Some books addressing cancer also focus on or include material on this topic.

The premise is that certain personality traits can increase the risk for cancer, by causing oncogenes (the genes associated with the initiation of cancer) to switch on. For people whose personalities follow the description provided, this can be a frightening thought and can lead to people blaming themselves for becoming sick.

So just how true is the concept that certain aspects of who we are can give rise to a dreaded disease? Before we get to this, let’s take a quick look at how the so-called “cancer personality” is defned. READ MORE

November 22nd, 2013

The debate surrounding prostate cancer screening testing

Hister_Art_07As everyone must know by now – given how much horrendous facial hair has sprouted on your friends by this point in the month – November has become Movember for a great many men. Movember is a campaign to grow a moustache, which is in turn geared at raising awareness of prostate cancer (as well, perhaps of prostate health in general).

The problem with raising awareness about prostate cancer is that most of the raised awareness centres around screening tests for prostate cancer, and the simple reality is that there is still very little consensus about which men should get tested with PSA (that’s the blood test for prostate cancer) and when they should get that test, if ever.

September 7th, 2013

HPV Vaccination – publicly funded program extended

art_histerAs a grandparent, the good news about this stage of my parenting career is that I don’t have to worry about my kids’ vaccine schedules any longer.

The bad news is that I now worry about my grandkids’ immunizations (I have finally accepted that once you take of the role of being a parent, worrying is something you never stop doing. When your own kids grow up, you just transfer the focus of your concerns to your grandkids).

August 30th, 2013

London Drugs reminds parents of key health considerations heading back to school, back to routine

shutterstock_110699252RICHMOND, B.C., August 30, 2013 – Children and adults heading back to school and to their regular routines this fall should take simple precautions to stay healthy and prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria.

“Illnesses and infections such as a cold, the flu, pinkeye, and strep throat are common contagious conditions kids are likely to catch at school by touching multiple shared surfaces,” says London Drugs Pharmacist, Pindy Janda. “Hand washing is important all of the time but particularly when there is a change in routine – such as going back to school. Busy environments like schools and workplaces provide an ideal breeding environment for viruses and bacteria and prevention is the key to staying healthy.”

In addition to hand washing, Janda explains that it is important to practice good “sleep hygiene”. This involves choosing a fixed bedtime and awakening, avoiding daytime naps as well as monitoring caffeine and alcohol consumption. Getting back into a consistent sleep routine is one of the most important things for both children and adults.

August 19th, 2013

Sunburn and Sun cancer


By now everyone must know that excess sun exposure is linked to a significantly higher risk of skin cancer, of which there are three main types: basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and malignant melanoma (MM).

Luckily, the first two types of skin cancer – BCC and SCC – don’t metastasize easily, so they don’t often result in death, but they can be sometimes quite problematic to treat as they can result in significant cosmetic damage. When small and new, these forms of skin cancer is generally quite easy to biopsy and treat by excision which is why you should have them taken care of as soon as you think you have one.

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