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Thursday April 4th, 2013

Posted at 4:38pm

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The Windsor and Essex County Cancer Centre Foundation unveiled two milestones in their $4 million capital campaign to fight prostate cancer.

Launched only ten months ago, the “It’s In Your Jeans” appeal is intended to help fund a Regional Comprehensive Men’s Health Program at Windsor Regional Hospital. That new Program will serve men throughout the three counties of Essex, Kent and Lambton which make up the Erie St. Clair Health Integration Network.

Norma Brockenshire, President and Bob Copland, Secretary Treasurer of the Cancer Centre Foundation announced receipt of a $1 million anonymous donation. That gift brings the total donations raised to date to $3.2 million. The campaign progress was revealed by uncovering a jeans mounted mural in the lobby of Windsor Regional Hospital. Kay Douglas, President of Douglas Marketing Group, created the “It’s In Your Jeans” campaign slogan and engaging wall display.

Brockenshire stated, “We are thrilled with the community support of $2.2 million to date. But this additional and most generous anonymous gift is truly breathtaking. We are now within striking distance of reaching our goal.”

According to Lynn Chappell, Director of the Erie St. Clair Regional Cancer Program, “the Regional Comprehensive Men’s Health Program will enable men to obtain information, diagnosis, treatment and follow-up from an easy to follow pathway at the Men’s Health Centre. Wait time from cancer suspicion to treatment will be reduced from thirty weeks on average to sixteen weeks through improved coordination of patient services.”

The Men’s Health Centre will be the companion facility to the already operating Women’s Breast Health Centre. Community donations will also help purchase more efficient and more reliable diagnostic laboratory equipment which will be used for all cancer biopsies for both men and women.

The biggest portion of the campaign goal is for the purchase of the $3.2 million da Vinci Surgical Assisting Robot. According to local urologist Dr. Ronald Sorensen, “the da Vinci system is the gold standard in minimally invasive prostate surgery. It provides excellent cancer control but with less trauma, less blood loss and infection risk, and faster recovery over other surgical techniques.”

Nearly 50% of men in the area for whom surgery is the best treatment option have been traveling outside of the region to Hamilton and London, even to the United States, for prostate cancer surgery including da Vinci surgery. There are da Vinci trained urologists in Windsor but no machine.

The Ontario Government agreed to pay annual program operating expenses estimated to be $2.5 million. The campaign is to raise the funds to purchase the necessary capital equipment.

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