ONE hundred new cases of prostate cancer is recorded annually in the country.
This was revealed by the Prof of Anatomy at Umanand Prasad School of Medicine, Doctor Fred Merchant.
"We know that in our population, we have about 100 new cases every year," Dr Merchant said.
"The number of new cases of men getting prostate cancer is similar to the number of new cases of breast cancer that we get in women.
"We have a population that has it, but Fiji is a young population and it's a disease that we find in old men who are in their 50s, 60s and 70s."
He said Fiji did not have a big population but the population was growing.
"And people are living longer and we will have men who will need this kind of examination and we also need trained doctors who do it and who will encourage people to get tested."
He said all men should get tested for the disease, especially those that are nearing their 50s.
"In Fiji, many men have never had this exam and we recommend that they start getting it for their prostate and if they are over the age of 50, they should get it on a regular basis depending on what the findings are or start at the age of 45 if they've had a family member who's had this disease.
"But after 50, most men should regularly get this exam when they have their regular physical and if they do have problems then the tests would be more frequent.
"It is an important exam because the prostate gland is a very hard organ to locate.
"It's deep inside the male pelvis just below the bladder which makes it very hard to reach so the person himself cannot examine himself.
"So the only person that can do that kind of examination is a very well-trained doctor that can do the digital rectal exam but it can be done by all doctors."
He said prostate gland could also be at risk of infections.
"As they get older, it will tend to get larger. Most of the time, it is not cancer but the ones that are dangerous when it gets larger are cancer.
"When the gland becomes a problem, some of the first things that can happen is that it starts to block the flow of urine from the bladder which is a major problem.
"There are other issues with the prostate gland, it sometimes can get infected, although it is not cancer, it is a condition called prostatitis.
"This disease is sometimes difficult to treat. Sometimes the gland just gets larger with age and it has to be partially or completely removed because it interferes with how the bladder functions."
Western Cancer Society president Margaret Rounds said it was important that women encouraged their men to get examined.
"Already some women find it hard to get a Pap smear so it would be even worse for the men," Ms Rounds said.
"But the women are more forthcoming so we want to encourage them to get the men in their family to get the rectal exam."