Friday, March 23, 2007

As if there wasn't enough reason to love Dave Hancock

Oh Dave Hancock. How I love thee with thy desire for a province-wide smoking ban. I know it's something Albertans aren't keen on. I know you're a fighter. And it irks me how Albertans are making the very same excuses against the ban that other provinces (ie. Ontario) used... excuses which have not only proven ineffective, but untrue.

And, in case that wasn't reason enough to deduce that you are quite lovely... you go and do something like this.

A province-wide colorectal screening program!

As behind as Alberta is on the anti-smoking legislation, they are far ahead here. This was something that we tried getting the Ontario government on board for when I was working at the Canadian Cancer Society. What the news release doesn't tell you is that while colorectal cancer one of the top killers, it is NINETY PERCENT curable if caught early enough. NINETY PERCENT! And yet it still kills so many people. Why? Because people don't get screened for it. They hold off on their physicals, they avoid the doctor and then they find out it's too late.

I remember having this argument with my grandmother in the summer. She was talking about how one of her friends had been diagnosed and then died three weeks later. She mentioned how she hadn't been to the doctor in years and years and refused to go. And, oh what a shame it was that she was gone. I talked about how curable the cancer was, and grandma said something along the lines of, "Well, I don't blame her I don't like going to the doctor either." This completely blows my mind.

I realize that going to the doctor may be unpleasant, but in this case, getting your check ups literally means life or death. Bravo to Hancock's Health and Wellness for putting this screening program out there.

Now if only we could get people to quit smoking...


ken chapman said...

HI Elle - would you be in favour of incentives for folks to quit smoking or do thay have to do it on their own hook?

If incentives are OK what kind do you see as helpful?

Elle Bee said...

Incentives are a grey area I think. There are various "quit to win" contests that often give the individual the incentive they need to quit rather than the, "oh, I'll do it tomorrow" approach. This can be good.

However, at the same time, people shouldn't expect incentives for something they got themselves into. One's health is one's responsibility, they shouldn't get rewarded for something that they should be doing... after all, it is in their best interests to take care of themselves.