Funding boost to support men’s health

Date Posted: 

Province of BC Press Release

Friday, April 7, 2017 9:45 AM

From L to R: Jim O'Hara, VP, Leadership Giving, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation; Dr. Celestia Higano, Medical Oncologist, University of Washington & University of British Columbia; Honourable Petter Fassbender, MLA, Surrey-Fleetwood; Jose Vergara, patient representative from the PCSC Program; Dr. Dinesh Samarasekera, Fraser Health Urology

The Province has provided $6 million to the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation to support the Vancouver Prostate Centre in expanding its Prostate Cancer Supportive Care Program throughout British Columbia.

“As a prostate cancer survivor, I know that being diagnosed with cancer is a shock for anyone and having supports in place can make a big impact on one’s emotional and physical well-being,” said Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Peter Fassbender, who made the announcement on behalf of Health Minister Terry Lake. “The Prostate Cancer Supportive Care Program has helped over 1,300 men learn about available treatment options, their side effects and how to cope with the psychological impact of living with cancer. It’s great to see this important program expand to additional communities in B.C.”

Supported in part through provincial funding, the Prostate Cancer Supportive Care Program will be implemented in Surrey, Prince George, Victoria and Kelowna. The provincial funding is also going towards the development of online materials to help men in communities who may not be able to physically access the Prostate Cancer Supportive Care Program sites.

“I believe that we are at the cutting edge of supportive care with a model that will spread across Canada and help thousands of men and their loved ones cope with prostate cancer,” said Dr. Larry Goldenberg, recipient of the Order of B.C. and the Order of Canada, and director of supportive care at the Vancouver Prostate Centre. “The support of the Government of British Columbia will also impact the partners of men with prostate cancer, and their families and friends. Thousands of British Columbians will benefit every year.”

The Vancouver Prostate Centre launched the Prostate Cancer Supportive Care Program at Vancouver General Hospital in January 2013 to better support men with prostate cancer and their families. The program includes six modules ranging from support with treatment decisions and clinical services to overcome sexual dysfunction or urinary incontinence, to providing education to help improve long-term health through exercise and nutrition. It connects newly diagnosed men with cancer survivors and provides counselling and group therapy to help men and their families cope with the psychological burden of living with cancer.

The program has received support from private donors, the Prostate Cancer Foundation BC, the Movember Foundation through Prostate Cancer Canada, and the Specialist Services Committee, a joint committee of the Province and the Doctors of BC.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian men. Approximately 3,200 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year in British Columbia, though the number of deaths has dropped over the past 20 years. If caught early, the survival rate for men with prostate cancer is very similar to that of other men.

This funding builds on the $2 million the Province provided to the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation in March 2016 in support of their work with the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation to encourage men to live healthier lives. As well, $1 million was provided to VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation in 2014 and $5 million in 2013 to support the foundation’s efforts to further develop men’s-health research and health promotion.

Learn More:

For more information on the Vancouver Prostate Centre, visit:

For more information on the Prostate Cancer Supportive Care Program, visit:

For more information on the VGH & UBC Foundation, visit:

To contact the Ministry of Health Communications, phone: 250 952-1887 (media line)

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The Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC) has a track record of success that has earned it a reputation as one of the world’s most respected cancer facilities. It is a National Centre of Excellence and a designated Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research.


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