Prostate cancer clinic opening in Sarnia

Three local doctors, Dr. Paul Martin, left, Dr. Alvaro Ramirez, centre, and Dr. Raj Singh, right, have opened a prostate cancer clinic at Bluewater Health. With them are Cal Schram and Stafania Barron, organizers of Mo’ Run, an event sponsored by the trio. Glenn Ogilvie

Cathy Dobson

A new prostate cancer clinic at Bluewater Health is providing patients at all stages of the disease better quality of care and access to an array of medical and support services.

“This clinic is making sure the community is well taken care of,” said Dr. Alvaro Ramirez, one of three urologists running the clinic.

He is collaborating with Dr. Paul Martin and Dr. Raj Singh to provide services at a clinic located in the hospital’s ambulatory care department that were formerly offered in their offices. The clinic has been operating about six months and will officially launch Nov. 28.

By that time, all local prostate patients will have access to a multidisciplinary team at the clinic that includes an oncologist, the urologists, social services, a nurse navigator to assist patients and their families, and a palliative care team.

The new clinic will support patients who require follow up, who are at risk of progression or are under regular surveillance.

“We expect to see about 1,500 patients a year,” Ramirez said.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer for males. One in about seven men will be diagnosed with it in their lives.  The rate of incidence rises to one in four if there’s a family history.

The prostate cancer clinic officially opens the same week that Sarnia’s third annual Mo’Run takes place. Doctors Ramirez, Martin and Singh have thrown their support behind the 2014 Mo’Run by sponsoring the event.

“It’s a good event to promote prostate cancer awareness,” Ramirez said.

The Mo’Run was started by a local running group called Feet on Fire in 2012 and has already raised $15,000 for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and mental health initiatives.

Working in conjunction with On Edge Fitness and Movember Canada, Feet on Fire hopes to attract 200 registrants this year and raise $10,000, said Cal Schram who is organizing Mo’Run with Dick Felton and Stefania Barron.

Raising awareness about prostate cancer may encourage more men to get screened, Schram said.

When and how often to be screened remains controversial but the local urologists said they believe screening should begin at age 45 if there’s a family history, or at age 50 or 55 if there is not.

“The key is to discuss it with your doctor,” said Martin.

 IF YOU GO:

WHAT:  Mo’Run, run/walk along the St. Clair River to raise awareness about prostate cancer and men’s health, featuring craft beer, T-shirts and medals.

WHEN:  Sunday, Nov. 23, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., depending on event.

OTHER: Visit www.morunsarnia.com for details. Register at raceroster.com.