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A Conversation
on Prevention

Guest blogger, Men's Health, My One Thing, November 29th, 2012

Pierce Anderson’s “One Thing”

The University of Victoria Vikes are proud supporters of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Men’s and Women’s Health Awareness Initiative and we had the opportunity to chat with Pierce Anderson, one of the University of Victoria’s star varsity athletes about his “one thing”. 


Pierce, how long have you been playing varsity basketball?

This is my 5th and final year playing with the Vikes. I actually started practicing with them about 6 years ago.

Have you always had a love for basketball?

Yeah, I have been playing basketball since I was five. My father was a basketball player as well, so it has always been a part of my life.

Do you hope to stay connected to the game when you graduate?  

Yes, definitely. I plan on playing in a men’s league and I hope to get into coaching. I would also like to do some coaching with some of my younger cousins as well.

How does being a member of the UVic Vikes influence your perspective on health?  

Being an athlete really causes me to think more about my health. I am definitely more conscious about my diet and getting the right calories so that I can have energy throughout the day. I also want to make sure that I stay in shape in the off season, which is really important. 

As part of our Men’s and Women’s Health Awareness Initiative, we’re encouraging people to get a game plan to defend themselves against cancer. Making one change can make a difference. What’s the “one thing” that you will commit to doing?  

I know a couple of people undergoing treatment for melanoma skin cancer and it has definitely caused me to be more conscious about using sunscreen. I worked as a landscaper for six years and after a while I just stopped using it because I was out in the sun so much. I am definitely going to change that. 

Photo credit: Armando Tura

Guest blogger, Men's Health, My One Thing, November 22nd, 2012

Jordan Kamprath’s “One Thing”

This week, for our Men’s and Women’s Health Awareness Initiative, we spoke with nineteen-year-old, Jordan Kamprath, Team Captain for the Comox Valley Glacier Kings, to hear about his “one thing”. Having played hockey for seventeen years, Jordan knows the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When he is not on the ice, Jordan is pursing an Exercise and Wellness Certificate at North Island College. Here is what Jordan had to say about being healthy and his “one thing”. 

You have been a hockey player for seventeen years! How has being a hockey player impacted your health?

I have to be at the top of my physical ability all the time, especially with being on the ice six days a week. I have to be physically fit. It’s quite a physically demanding sport. It’s a very active sport. You are always moving, doing on ice training, or doing off ice training. If you aren’t healthy as well, you aren’t getting the full potential of your game. Something as simple as eating an unhealthy meal before your game can make the difference between winning and losing.


 As an athlete and a student, do you ever find it difficult to balance both?

I sometimes find my body is getting pretty worn down. I have had to cancel other plans to catch up on sleep. But eating and being healthy is actually good for the body and it strengthens the body itself. I find that if I eat something like a bag of chips or I drink a pop I actually feel worse and I feel sluggish. So, eating healthy actually makes me feel better even if I feel exhausted, and a good work out makes me feel better as well.

Any words of wisdom or tips for people around your age?

It’s never too late to start. You could be nineteen, you could be fifty; it’s never too late to start being healthy and being active.

Many athletes swear by their pre-game rituals. For some it may be listening to heavy metal music on the way to the rink or taking a quick nap before the game. For others, their ritual may involve a bit of superstition – always tying one skate before the other or not allowing certain “bad luck” individuals to attend games. Do you have any pre-game rituals that you are willing to share?

Each person obviously has their own way of getting focused for the game. I have experimented and changed up my routine to find what works and even now change it up every so often. However, I always listen to a certain playlist throughout the game day, I always put my left side of equipment on first, and I always am the last one on the ice coming out of the changeroom. I also take three tums before every game, only because my nerves sometimes gets the best of me.

As part of our Men’s and Women’s Health Awareness Initiative, we’re encouraging people to get a game plan to defend themselves against cancer. Making one change can make a difference. What’s the “one thing” that you will commit to doing?

I can make a commitment to eat healthier. It’s a very controllable aspect of life. You can grab a granola bar instead of a bag of chips and you can drink water instead of a can of pop. As a hockey player I am already quite healthy, so I think healthy eating would be quite simple.



Guest blogger, Men's Health, My One Thing, November 14th, 2012

John Harrison’s “One Thing”

This week we are sharing a blog post from John Harrison, a community minded, passionate, self-professed health nut and member of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Gay Men’s Health Committee.

Statistics show that more men than women will be diagnosed with and will die of cancer. In your opinion, what can we do to change this statistic?

There is so much that men can do to reduce the incidence of cancer. Research is showing that simple things like an active and healthy lifestyle,  knowing the symptoms of common cancers and regular medical check-ups go a long way in reducing the risk of dying from cancer. 

Have you always lived such a healthy lifestyle?

I have always had a healthy lifestyle, particularly in being active and maintaining a healthy weight. In the last ten years I have focused my attention on eating lots of fruits and vegetables and dramatically reducing consumption of red meats. I no longer eat fast food and rarely eat unhealthy snacks. Currently, I am paying more attention to eating unrefined foods. I’ve realized the benefits (and great taste) of eating whole grains and organic fruits and vegetable.

What do you think is the biggest challenge or issue you see amongst your friends that prevents them from achieving the best possible health?

I think the biggest challenge for my friends (who are generally very active and don’t smoke) in achieving the best possible health is a lack of understanding about the importance of a healthy diet. Very few of my male friends eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and many regularly eat unhealthy fast foods such as burgers and fries. 

What’s the “one thing” you pledge to do this year to maintain your health?  

The one pledge I am taking this year is to eat less sweets. I love cookies, pastries and the like, but I know it’s very unhealthy regardless of the fact that I maintain a very active lifestyle and a good body mass index 

Do you have any lessons learned or words of wisdom to share with our readers?

I used to believe that people couldn’t do much to prevent many cancers because it was largely attributable to our “genetics” (and there is a lot of cancer history on my dad’s side of the family). However, I’ve noted current research that clearly indicates that a healthy lifestyle and diet can play a much bigger role in cancer prevention than has ever before been realized.

Guest blogger, Men's Health, My One Thing, October 23rd, 2012

Patrick Levesque and Tyrell Witherspoon’s “One Thing”

We recently hung out with Patrick Levesque, co-founder of and Masc Skin Care and his partner Tyrell Witherspoon, entertainer and performer, to get their perspective on staying healthy.

Let’s start off with the all-important question – if you could spend an afternoon with any of the Real Housewives of Vancouver, who would it be and why?

Tyrell: Hmm. I have always had a little bit of a fascination with Ronnie. I think she’s so mysterious and I would love sit down with her for an afternoon and pick her brain.

Patrick: Haha, great question. I would spend an afternoon with Mary Zilba. I’ve gotten to know her over the past year and I think she’s such a sweetheart so I already know I’d have a good time with her. We could make it a doggie play date for our little ones! 

As a trendy young couple, who are both active in your careers and in Vancouver’s social scene, how do you fit maintaining good health into your busy schedules?

Patrick: You just have to make it a priority and get into a good routine. It’s really easy to let work take over your life but you soon realize that balance and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is necessary. We encourage each other and try to keep each other on track. We make a good team that way.

Tyrell: I think it’s really important to keep active no matter how busy you are. I am lucky that my professional career allows me to always be on my feet and active, but I think it’s important to hit the gym, go for a run, hike the Grouse Grind – whatever. But as Patrick said, it’s important to maintain that balance. 

Cancer is serious and making one small change can make a big difference in reducing your risk. Can you share with our readers the “one thing” you will both commit to in order to stay healthy?

Patrick: The one thing that I commit to is exercise and clean eating. I was one of those people that was starting to let work takeover my life and soon found that I was putting my health last, not making time for exercise and preparing healthy meals. Over the last several months, I’ve changed that and made specific fitness commitments (a workout partner and regular bootcamp classes), in addition to grocery shopping twice a week and setting aside time to make healthy meals. It took some effort at first, but it’s all about making it a lifestyle. 

Tyrell: Living with Patrick, I too commit to exercise and clean eating. Exercise is really important and I really feel the effects on my health when I don’t keep up my fitness routine. I think setting out a weekly plan for your fitness along with your meal plan, you can really commit to healthy lifestyle. Trust me – it doesn’t happen over night but if you stick to it and stay committed, you can see major results in a short period of time.

Guest blogger, Men's Health, My One Thing, Survivor, September 27th, 2012

Ryan Steele’s “One Thing”

This fall we are encouraging men and women to make their own Game Plan to defend themselves against cancer. Doing just “one thing” can make a difference to your cancer risk. We sat down with cancer survivor, comedian and all around loveable guy, Ryan Steele, to hear about his “one thing”. 

Who is Ryan Steele? And what do our readers need to know about you?

I am a Vancouver based sketch comedian who is one half of the super hilarious Ryan and Amy Show. I have been doing sketch around the city for over 5 years now and am currently working on my first television show. I am also a cancer survivor! I was diagnosed with testicular cancer when I was 19 years-old and have been clean and healthy for 15 years now. I underwent 4 rounds of chemotherapy and 2 large surgeries that have made me the strong well rounded man I am today.

If I gave you an elephant where would you hide it?

If I was given an elephant I would hide it in my bed because nobody ever goes there. Ba dum ching.

If you could describe yourself with only one word what would it be?

If I could describe myself with one word it would have to be determined.

You survived cancer and know first hand how important staying healthy is. What advice do you have for men to keep themselves healthy?

My advice for men to keep themselves healthy is always being aware of their body. Go for check-ups regularly and see your doctor immediately if you have the smallest worry that something might be wrong. It’s very important to exercise regularly. I suggest running the seawall shirtless (with sunscreen, of course). Great for head turning. ;)  Also, balance your eating habits. Fast food is okay occasionally but not everyday. And of course, don’t smoke. It’s very embarrassing to do so these days.

We’re encouraging people to get a game plan to defend themselves against cancer. Doing just “one thing” can make a difference to your cancer risk. What’s your “one thing” that you will commit to?

My “one thing” I will commit to is cutting down my drinking! I’m known to have a ‘good time’ but I need to limit myself to reduce my chances of cancer in the future.

A huge thank you goes to Ryan for sharing his advice and his “one thing”! You can check out Ryan’s comedy on the Ryan Steele Show!

Men's Health, Women's Health, September 13th, 2012

What’s your one thing?

by Brittney Parks, Canadian Cancer Society

Did you know that up to 35% of all cancers can be prevented by being active, eating well and maintaining a healthy body weight?

Yes, it’s true! It’s easier than you think. Just one change can make a difference. 

During September through November, a Men’s and Women’s health initiative is being undertaken by the Canadian Cancer Society to encourage the public to take charge of their health. We’re asking men and women to take action to live well, be aware and get involved.

 Live Well – You can reduce your cancer risk by making healthy choices every day.

 Be Aware – You can help detect cancer early by getting screened and knowing your body.

 Get Involved – You can fight for change in your community to help reduce cancer risks.

Create a cancer game plan

Start by making one change. Think of one thing you can do to live well, be aware of your body or get involved in reducing risks for everyone. Don’t smoke. Keep a healthy body weight. Limit alcohol consumption. Pick one thing and start making a difference to your health.

Healthier living starts by doing just one thing. Once you’ve declared it, share it.

Spread the word

Upload a photo representing your “one thing” on and “share it” on your favorite social network declaring your one thing. Use the hash tag #myonething

Get social with us

Like us on Facebook: Canadian Cancer Society, B.C. & Yukon Division
Follow us on Twitter: @cancersocietybc

Men's Health, October 5th, 2011

Men’s Health Highlights

by Brittney Parks

For the month of September, we launched our men’s health awareness campaign throughout the province. We are encouraging men to have a game plan because these cancers can have positive outcomes if detected and treated early. The focus is on three cancers below the waist; prostate, colorectal and testicular, because these three cancers alone account for more that 40 per cent of all new cancer cases in men.

Here are a few steps for your “Game Plan”?
     • Know your body
     • Watch for warning signs and symptoms
     • Check your equipment
     • Talk to your Dr. about whether screening is appropriate

Canadian Cancer Society staff and volunteers were spreading the “What’s Your Game Plan?” message at varsity events, fundraisers, throughout university communities and at the Union of BC Municipalities 2011 Convention.

Here are a few photo highlights…

University of Victoria Undie Run

Canadian Cancer Society with Mayor Richard Stewart of Coquitlam at the UBCM 2011 Convention

Jay Majkowski of the Sports Zone, City of Cranbrook Mayor Scott Manjak, Councillor Bob Whetham, the Kootenay Ice Director of Sales Geoff Davidson and Kootenay ice players John Neibrandt and Joe Antilla joined the Canadian Cancer Society

For more photo visit us on at

What’s next for us?

Women’s health!

For the month of October the Canadian Cancer Society’s will be launching its women’s health awareness campaign!

More highlights to come…

Men's Health, September 15th, 2011

A Testicular Cancer Survivor Shares His Story

In the back of my mind, I suspected I had cancer. Close to a year passed, and I did nothing about it. Fear and denial kept me from admitting to myself something was wrong.

Ultimately, I required surgery and chemotherapy and recovered fully.

In hindsight, I was extremely fortunate. I should have taken action immediately.

In the shower one day, I noticed that my left testicle didn’t feel the same as my right one anymore. It was becoming hard to the touch instead of soft and grape-like.  For months, the change from soft to hard continued but it was so gradual I convinced myself it was nothing to worry about. Every once in a while, the words “testicular cancer” would pop into my brain but I would quickly push them out again. Eventually, I forgot about my concerns almost completely.

Then, one night after a hot shower, I felt an actual lump. My reaction was disbelief but I also knew I had a serious problem. Still, I didn’t go to see my doctor because I was on the verge of leaving for a week-long trip. I promised myself I’d make an appointment when I got back home.

A week after my medical exam, I got confirmation – I was told I had testicular cancer and was already booked for surgery that night. My testicle was removed, which was difficult to accept. But, my overwhelming emotion was relief.

Subsequent testing revealed my cancer was of the rare choriocarcinoma variety and my oncologist advised me that if I didn’t undergo chemotherapy treatment, I had a 50/50 chance of cancer returning somewhere else in my body. If I did have chemotherapy, he said I could be 99 per cent certain of avoiding future problems.

So, my decision was an easy one to make and I spent the rest of that summer in treatment. The chemotherapy drugs made me terribly sick but, with the support of family and friends, I got through the ordeal. I have been cancer-free ever since – more than 16 years now – and am the proud father of two kids.

My advice?  Check yourself regularly when you are in the shower or bathtub and pay attention to any changes in your testicles. With early detection and intervention, testicular cancer has a high cure rate. Don’t leave your future to luck, like I did.

Jason Peters

Guest blogger, Men's Health, Tanning, Women's Health, July 11th, 2011

Interview with Trish Friesen, Editor-In-Chief of

We recently chatted with Trish Friesen, Editor-In-Chief of, a daily travel lifestyle website dishing daily trip style tips to aspiring jetsetters. Trish eats, sleeps and breathes travel, packing her bag every two weeks for a wild adventure or sun-drenched hotspot. Australia, New York, Seattle and Whistler—and that’s just this spring! A former tanner turned sun safe guru, we asked Trish to provide insight on how she regularly plays in the sun while still being safe about her skin.


One of your favorite topics is packing: tricks, tips, carry-ons, etc… You managed in Australia for just under 3 weeks of travel with one carry-on and a purse. For those travellers wanting to pack light—while bringing the necessities to protect themselves from the sun—do you have any suggestions?

If I’m headed to the countries like the US, UK or Australia—where I know I’ll be able to find a good body sunscreen easily—I only bring a 3oz face sunscreen with me in my carry-on. Note that most concentrated, high spf face sunscreens come in bottles 3.4oz/100ml anyway, which is the allowable maximum for a carry-on liquid! Alternatively, if I’m flying to a country like Peru or Kenya, where finding the right sunscreen might be a little more difficult, I bring two 3oz containers of 70spf screen. I’ll use one for my face, and the other for my body until I find a suitable alternative.

As an avid jetsetter, what are the top three things you pack so that you can enjoy the sun safely on your travels?

I always keep the following sun protection essentials packed away in my carry-on, so if I have to leave on short notice, I won’t forget them: 

1) Hats. Foldable hats that can be squished into your suitcase are where it’s at for travel. I always carry: a sporty one for running, a casual one for the beach, and a chic one for sunset cocktails!  

2) Broad protection sunscreen (70spf for face, 30spf for body).

3) A Pashmina is my top travel trick! Wear it to the airport as a scarf, on the plane as a blanket, at the pool or beach as a cover-up, out for dinner draped over your shoulders and around your head if you get stuck in intense sun or rain without a hat! When I was in Napa in 40+ degree Celsius weather, I also used my Pashmina over my summer dress to guard against the sun when I was outdoors, as well as to keep me warm in the heavily air-conditioned tasting rooms!

Many people are opting for a staycation this summer. What are some of Vancouver’s hidden gems where travellers can staycation in style while avoiding the sun when it is at its peak, from 11am – 4pm?

The Greater Vancouver Area’s natural playground offers endless treats for locals looking to get away in or near the city! Some of my favourite spots are:

Jericho Beach – Beachcombing, skimboarding, walking and biking are just a handful of the activities you can do in one day at Jericho Beach. Start with an early-morning kayak {rentals available} when the sun is less intense, relax a little at the beach until 11.30am, then walk, bike or drive up to Point Grey Village for a sandwich at Pane e Formaggio.  

Granville Island – First things first, grab a freshly squeezed juice and just-baked croissant from The Market! Then burn off the calories renting a stand up paddle board to cruise up False Creek towards the Athlete’s Village. When you hear a lazy afternoon lunch calling, which happens to coincide with the sun’s strongest rays, spend the afternoon on a shady patio overlooking the water!

White Rock – In the summer, White Rock turns into a beach club-like hotspot with endless sandbars, restaurants bursting at the seams and some of the best Gelato this side of Italy! After you’ve savoured a Dulce Gelato, beach it up around 3.30pm when the sun is getting less intense. Once the hunger pangs set in, walk across the street to a sunlit patio for dinner. 

Whether lounging on Jericho beach, taking an ocean cruise or doing an African safari (Trish has done it all!), what is your key fashion piece for protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful rays when travelling?

A hat, a hat, a hat! All my friends know that I won’t go near the sun without one—even when it’s cloudy! Plus, with a fabulous hat and sunglasses, people will wonder if you’re a celebrity!

What made you change your ways, from former tanner to sun safe guru?

It was a combination of 3 things. When I was little, the world seemed to be getting serious about sun protection, and though I was wowed by the 80′s Baywatch standard of bleached hair and a bronzed bod, I knew it wasn’t safe. As I got older, I usually {aside from a few trips} used sunscreen for prolonged sun use, but never for 1-hour power tans, which looking back, was so dumb. When I hit my mid 20s, the deal was sealed. I wasn’t getting any younger, and realized this was the body that was going to carry me through life. At the same time, Dermatologists were professing the safest and most effective anti-aging tactic was daily sunscreen use. Done and done!