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Guys, don’t put it off. See your doctor

René Norena’s father was a pillar of strength and the go-to person for advice, support and guidance in his family. He kept a disciplined health and fitness regimen, instilled during his former training as a marine. He woke up at 5:00 a.m. every morning to go for a run.

When he was diagnosed with cancer, no one could believe it. After all, cancer doesn’t happen to healthy active people.

Looking back, René recalls that his father was experiencing symptoms long before he became seriously ill. He would complain that he had a “slow release bladder”, as if it was a common, harmless condition. This went on for two to three years before it finally got so uncomfortable that he sought medical help. The news was not good: he had prostate cancer, and it had spread to other parts of his body.

Rene’s father passed away on Father’s Day in 2009. He was also named René.

René’s story isn’t unusual. While men are more likely than women to die of heart disease, cancer and complications from diabetes, they are half as likely as women to visit the doctor1 2.

Routine doctor visits and tests at recommended ages can help men to prevent or manage health conditions. For men with known risk factors for disease, such as a family history of cancer, screening may help to detect changes before the disease reaches advanced stages.

Each year, René and his co-workers at Pacific Blue Cross join Movember to raise funds for men’s health and prostate cancer research. To date, René has raised over $45,000 with his own fundraising efforts for men’s health.

René tells his story to warn men of the consequences of avoiding routine medical checkups. Says Rene, “Movember is the perfect time to bring men’s health to everybody’s mind. It gives me a chance to tell people my story with the hope it won’t repeat in their lives. Don’t put it off until you’re very sick. Go see your doctor!”

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1 Public Health Agency of Canada,
2 Health Reports, Going to the Doctor, Vol. 18, No. 1, February 2007, Statistics Canada,

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