The National Association of
Prostate Cancer Support Groups
P.O. Box 1253
Fax: (705) 652-0663
Max's fight against prostate cancer
Max Keeping had some news of his own to share.
end of CJOH's 6 p.m. broadcast, he announced that he has prostate
"It's been fascinating to deal with it," he said last night after the
show. "I haven't been down. I haven't been depressed. I won't allow
feel sorry for myself. For most of my life in Ottawa, I've spent so much
with kids who have much more difficult challenges than I'm facing."
Mr. Keeping, 61, has been a constant on CJOH newscasts for more than 30
and is one of Ottawa's most recognizable citizens with his colourful
and even more vibrant tie collection -- he made the announcement last
while wearing a cartoon sun smiling optimistically above a rainbow and
children holding hands.
As he prepares for treatment, Mr. Keeping, who has been a regular at
hospitals for years, dropping in to visit the sick to raise their
spearheading fundraising campaigns, will find himself in a very
role -- as a patient.
Mr. Keeping first learned of his prostate cancer diagnosis on May 30,
same weekend he hosted the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario
"I just somehow accepted it and said, 'You can't ruin my weekend. I've
kids who inspire me to deal with this. They have much more difficult
to tackle and if there's anything over the past 20 years that kids have
taught me it's about living," he said on the newscast.
The cancer was discovered following his annual doctor's visit. He's been
screened for prostate cancer for 11 years now and when he turned 50,
having the prostate-specific antigen, or PSA test, which measures a
produced by the prostate gland; rising PSA levels can mean cancer.
Mr. Keeping has gone public with his illness to inspire others to get
for the cancer, which affects one in eight Canadian men and is curable
CJOH filmed his visit to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre on Tuesday.
Gad Perry told him he has "a potentially curable cancer" because it
spread from the prostate.
A relieved smile spread across his face. "I'm happy to hear that!" he
Mr. Keeping started treatment yesterday by taking hormone pills but he's
still deciding between two possible treatments: external radiation
a radioactive "seed" -- an implant that is inserted directly into the
between the rectum and the penis to kill the cancerous cells.
Dr. Perry told him the operation has only been performed five times in
and that it will be three to four years before he will be able to tell
whether or not the treatment has been successful.
Mr. Keeping said he'll likely opt for the implant, which he read about
book by former New York City mayor Rudolph Guiliani, who is a prostate
Last December Mr. Keeping celebrated 30 years as CJOH's main news
easy-going broadcast style and natural ability to tell the stories of
ordinary people have made him a favourite.
Each year he puts in 200 public appearances for the charities closest to
heart, including Child and Youth Friendly Ottawa, the Children's
Eastern Ontario, the United Way, and many others. He's also set up the
Keeping Foundation to help kids who slip through the holes in the
service safety net.
During last month's CHEO telethon a hospital wing was named after him, a
testament of his commitment to the institution. He also plans to keep
viewers up to speed, documenting his progress on CJOH over the next
The PSA test used to diagnose his cancer is not covered by OHIP and
extra $25, something that irks Mr. Keeping.
A newly formed advocacy group, Early Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Ontario,
lobbying the province to cover the cost of PSA tests. Mr. Keeping said
an argument with former premier Mike Harris on the subject during the
election campaign four years ago. "He wiped the floor with me," he said.
"It's the best test out there for prostate cancer," said John Peck,
the Early Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Ontario. "The fact that OHIP doesn't
cover it implies that it's not worthwhile."
Body & Health