VANCOUVER, Sept. 24, 2014 /CNW/ – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy today launched a national video raising awareness of the importance of cancer screening among First Nations, and urged First Nation citizens across the country to take all steps to prevent the chronic disease.
Regional Chief Beardy launched the seven minute video in Vancouver, BC this morning during his opening remarks at the First Nations Health Managers Association National Annual Conference. In addition to highlighting First Nation health priorities, Regional Chief Beardy shared his personal cancer story.
“Following a routine check-up in 2013 my doctor sent me for a colonoscopy,” said AFN Regional Chief Beardy of his experience with early detection of cancer. “I was feeling fine, but I knew I needed to go for the tests. When they found early stages of cancer, my doctor told me they would be able to remove it and I’m fine now. I was shocked when I heard the word ‘cancer’. I thought to myself: where I come from, people don’t survive a diagnosis of cancer. But the tests and early detection saved my life. I strongly encourage all First Nations to learn more about cancer prevention, which includes cancer screening, and to take responsibility for their own health by getting regular tests.”
The video ‘Early Detection: The Path to a Good Life’ was produced by AFN with the support and assistance of Chiefs of Ontario, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, Cancer Care Ontario, Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, Northern Cancer Fund and Screen for Life. It is based on a previously released regional video which tells the story of Regional Chief Beardy’s experience detecting early stages of colon cancer in 2013, and includes specific examples of cancer-screening for First Nations, including screening tests for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer.
[pullquote]“I think it’s important for everyone to go for routine cancer screening. Through surgery, my cancer was cured and it did not spread any further in my body. Now I can continue to do the things in life that I hoped to do.” [/pullquote]
More than one in three Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, and this number is even higher for First Nation peoples. Early detection is essential for greater chances of survival.
September is Men’s Cancer Awareness Month and the Canadian Cancer Society is encouraging men to take an active role in maintaining their health to reduce the risk of cancer.
For more information on cancer-screening please visit: www.cancer.ca