A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates
Posted November 25th, 2021 on Niagara At Large
QUEEN’S PARK — NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) has re-tabled a motion calling on the government to provide OHIP coverage for prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing for prostate cancer as November comes to an end.
“We know that early detection of prostate cancer saves lives. When detected early, the survival rate for prostate cancer is close to 100%, when it is caught at stage 4, the survival rate is 28%,” said Wayne Gates.
“We have universal healthcare coverage but somehow don’t cover this test which can save lives. Now, more than ever, we see the importance of access to healthcare. When people cannot spare the money they choose not to be tested. We can stop that from happening and we can save lives.”
On average, a late stage diagnosis costs $66,000 more than if the prostate cancer was caught early. If all men with Stage IV prostate cancer were diagnosed earlier, this is a savings of over $60 million every year.
Prostate cancer is the 4th most common cancer in Canada and the most common cancer in men with 1 in 9 men being diagnosed with prostate cancer over their lifetimes. Every single day 64 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. In 2020 alone, over 23,300 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Of this, it is projected that around 4200 men will die from prostate cancer.
Gates introduced a private member’s motion on OHIP coverage for PSA testing in 2019 but the motion was terminated when Premier Ford prorogued the Legislature. Gates is pushing for it again.
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