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Why You Need to Protect the 5 Hole

Rocco Rossi protects the 5 Hole at Queen's Park, February 2014
May 5th, 2014

Written by Rocco Rossi, President & CEO, Prostate Cancer Canada

When I was growing up, I wanted to be a professional hockey player. I had all the makings of the great athlete; I was strong, focused, disciplined, and I had a great passion for the game. There was just one missing piece. Skill. But I was big, so they put me in net.

As a goalie, I was pretty good with my glove and my stick, but I wasn’t great on skates. I had a hard time closing the gap between my legs - in hockey, we call this gap the ‘5 Hole’. Opponents learned my weakness and they knew that targeting this gap was an easy goal for them. And so, I became known as ‘5 Hole Rossi’.

Now, as the CEO & President of Prostate Cancer Canada, I am protecting the ‘5 Hole’ – and I’m encouraging all Canadian men to do the same.  

The ‘5 Hole’ is where we are all most susceptible. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer to affect Canadian men, representing 25% of newly diagnosed cancer cases in men. In 2013, 23,600 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 1 in 9 men will face a diagnosis in their lifetime.

To provide some context, 1 in 9 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. The numbers aren’t all that different. But there’s a discrepancy when it comes to awareness and willingness to take charge of one’s health. Guys being guys, we don’t want to talk about our health or go see the doctor. We especially don’t talk about anything below the waist.  

The most heartbreaking story I’ve heard since joining Prostate Cancer Canada was about a father losing his son to prostate cancer.  The son was only 48 when he lost his battle with the disease. His father was beside himself with grief, not only at the loss of his son, but because he had failed to give him some potentially life-saving information. He had had prostate cancer; he never mentioned it as he was embarrassed about the side effects from his treatment. Because the son didn’t know about his father’s diagnosis, he was unable to tell his doctor about his elevated risk for the disease. By the time they diagnosed it, the cancer had metastasized and it was too late.  

That’s why we need to break the silence – to make sure we detect prostate cancer early on, to make sure men know their risk factors and to prevent unnecessary deaths.  

Today – the 5th day of the 5th month – will now be known as ‘Protect the 5 Hole Day’.

Protect the ‘5 Hole’. Get tested.

Learn more:
What is prostate cancer?
The PSA test
Risk factors

Posted: 2014-05-05 9:31:54 AM
Filed under: Early Detection, Hockey, Protect the 5 Hole, PSA Test, Rocco Rossi

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