Prostate cancer is among the top five most common cancers among men in the United Arab Emirates, and its incidence is currently on the rise, a UAE-based doctor told Al Arabiya English, urging men to do regular checkups.
On the occasion of Men’s Health Awareness Month, also known as Movember, Al Arabiya English spoke to doctors in the UAE who weighed in on the current state of men’s health and the incidence of prostate cancer in the Gulf country.
“Men’s health is often ignored as men are generally under a lot of stress. They are busy with their work, so they don’t pay much attention to their health,” Dr. Deepak Janardhanan, Consultant Urologist at Dubai’s Medeor Hospital, told Al Arabiya English.
“We see only a small number of patients who come for regular health checkups. We are missing a majority of the people who would benefit from doing a routine health checkup or a regular prostate checkup so that any cancer within the prostate can be identified. Men’s Health Awareness Month is a golden opportunity to care for their health and lead healthy lives,” he added.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men across the world. Men may be putting themselves at risk for prostate and testicular cancers by not knowing the symptoms of these diseases and failing to schedule regular checkups, doctors told Al Arabiya English.
“Men’s health reflects the overall health of society. Men face many challenges when they come to this part of the world to achieve their ambitions and financial goals. Those living alone suffer mental and physical issues because of loneliness. Bringing their family and living together reduces diseases among men and women as well,” said Dr. Rishkesh Ramesh Pandya, Director of Urology and Uro-Oncology at Abu Dhabi’s Burjeel Medical City.
Doctors are advising men above the age of 45 to take a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test once a year.
Usually insidious in onset, prostate cancer can sometimes be hereditary and does not exhibit symptoms at first until it spreads.
“Unless you take care of your health and do regular checkups, you may miss catching prostate cancer at an early stage,” Dr. Janardhanan explained.
“Early diagnosis of prostate cancer opens up surgical treatment options. If detected late, prostate cancer can affect the bones or other organs for which a complete cure may not be possible.”
Echoing his sentiment, Dr. Pandya said that it is important to try to detect cancer early because it can be “most effectively prevented and managed by being aware.”
“Any cancer is curable if people are educated about it, especially prostate and testicular cancer. Prostate cancer cannot be prevented, but awareness can help in early detection, and it can be cured by proper treatment,” said Dr. Pandya.
“Prostate cancer in stages 1 and 2 can be cured, but this is not possible for stages 3 and 4. Raising awareness is critical, and regular check-ups are very important for all, regardless of age and gender,” he added.
Men’s health ‘often ignored’
Several doctors in the field believe that men’s health is neglected more than women’s health, which is why November is an important month for doctors to raise awareness as much as possible.
“Many programs are happening concerning women’s health, such as breast cancer awareness month and ovarian cancer awareness month. But men’s health is more often ignored,” said Dr. Janardhanan.
“November, otherwise called Movember, is the time of the year when men can focus on caring for their health. We have dedicated a whole month to men’s health to raise awareness about common men’s health problems, including prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction.
“People are usually hesitant to come forward and talk about such issues. I urge them to meet their doctors to get treated for a better tomorrow,” he added.
“The Movember campaign is crucial as it focuses on awareness. Cancer is a condition that can be most effectively prevented and managed by being aware. Any cancer is curable if people are educated about it, especially prostate and testicular cancer,” Dr. Pandya explained.
“Prostate cancer cannot be prevented, but awareness can help in early detection, and it can be cured by proper treatment.”
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