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Prostrate Cancer Is Now Common In 50-70s Men

Prostrate Cancer Is Now Common In 50-70s Men
Colonial War Memorial Hospital Urology Specialist Dr Ravneel Patel. Photo: Salote Qalubau
September 07
11:00 2017

Colonial War Memorial Hospital Urology Specialist Doctor Ravneel Patel said prostate cancer (CaP) was an issue that most men were reluctant to discuss.

Doctor Patel said the testing process included screening, confirmatory test and if positive for prostate cancer, treatment included either surgical, radiotherapy or hormone therapy.

“The percentage of men who reach their 50s getting prostate cancer is around 25-30 per cent and from 60s above it’s about 40 per cent and 70 years and above it’s about 60-70 per cent. In general most prostate cancers are slow growing,” he said.

“A prostate is part of a reproductive organ so, that’s more of a taboo issue to speak about and it’s a very sensitive topic because men have traditionally been seen as macho and they do not really look at their health seriously.”

He said men feared getting tested, as most were not fond of the Digital Rectum Examination (DRE) test; however there is an alternative test known as the Prostate Specific Antigen Test (PSA) a simple blood test.

“It’s during the month of November that we have a big inflow because it’s the awareness month and that’s usually about 200-300 a week but that’s like counting the whole of Fiji  If they need to be treated overseas later on, then they would have to consult with the Ministry of Health because they have their guidelines,” he said.

“The next step is to confirm whether it is cancer or not and that is done through a biopsy however there have been cases where PSA results have come back normal.”

Doctor Patel said the presence of abnormal figures on the PSA or DRE test was suggestive but not equative of prostate cancer

“We usually recommend that the men take both the DRE and PSA test and then we can have further discussion on whether or not to diagnose them for prostate cancer,” he said.

An increase in prostate cancer cases is noted when comparing statistics from the Fiji Ministry of Health Annual Reports of 2013 and 2015 findings where the initial rate of 36 cases in 2013 has increased to 49 cases in 2015.

Fiji Golden Oldies Rugby  Club President Mason Smith said last year the club provided $16,000 to the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and worked in partnership with Smartlabs and the Fiji Cancer Society for testing.

“The club pays $17.50 for the first test, this includes testing for other cancers in men but if they need a second test then the Fiji Cancer Society will then refer them to a private doctor or the CWM hospital,” he said.

“Awareness material is also provided by our sponsors who are;   BSP, Good Man Fielder, Digicel, Razor Communications and Nivea for Men.”

Edited by Rusiate Mataika



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