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Study shows prostate cancer link to age, history

Luke Rawalai
Monday, November 06, 2017

A RECENT study in the country showed that men above the age of 60 had a 60 per cent risk of getting prostate cancer.

CWM Hospital urologist Rajeev Patel said cancer was a disease common among the elderly.

Dr Patel said those above the age of 50 years had high risks of contracting the disease.

"The risk of prostate cancer is higher in the elderly and secondly, if you are a black American then you are at higher risk of getting it and thirdly, those with positive family history," he said.

"So in our setting, it is positive family history and elderly age.

"To diagnose the disease we recommend people to have a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and a finger test by the doctors.

"Depending on whether they find abnormal results, then we proceed with a biopsy to confirm whether one has the cancer or not."

Dr Rajeev said if one had cancer, then they would go forward for the treatment phase.

"In Fiji, we are struggling with people who are not aware of the screening services available and the reason basically is because no one has been talking about this disease," he said.

"This is because the disease is treated as a taboo subject while secondly, males traditionally do not have health conscious pattern like females and children have mostly with their macho attitude, choosing to bottle things up.

"The other myth is when you have cancer, people tend to think that they are being served with a death sentence and it is not because we can treat you if the disease is detected at an early stage.

"Recently, the ministry has identified that there is a need for more awareness on the disease because most prostate cancer cases received are those in the later stages."

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