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BMC treats dads to free prostate cancer screening

NAGA CITY—In celebration of Father's Day, the Department of Health (DOH) Bicol Medical Center (BMC) and the Philippine Urological Association offered free digital rectal examination (DRE) to males ages 40 and above yesterday, June 20.

Dubbed “Ako naMAN”, the project was carried out in conjunction with Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Aside from the DRE which will be a part of the physical examination process during the screening of patients on the same day, male patients were also able to avail of free consultation.

Dr. Rosito T. Bascuña Jr., Adult and Pediatric Urologist stated that prostate cancer screening with PSA and digital rectal examination (DRE) has resulted in not only an increase in prostate cancer detection but also a stage shift.

“More cancers are now being detected at earlier stages, when they are potentially curable. Prior to screening efforts, most prostate cancers were detected when they produced local symptoms or distant metastases, at which point treatment for cure often was impossible,” Bascuña said.

Men in their fifties are more prone to develop prostate cancer if not detected early. One of the adverse complications of prostate cancer happens once it affects other parts of the body like bladder, rectum, bones and even lymph nodes. The consequence can be devastating and fatal.

“We highly recommend DRE and Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)for men over the age of 50 and as early as 40 years old for men with a family history of cancer. They are considered at higher risk of acquiring the disease and suffering from the same illness. We recommend an annual DRE and PSA for them.”

DRE is one of the main screening procedures in evaluating the prostate.

Prostate cancer develops in 19.3 out of every 100,000 Filipinos, the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) said.

Recognizing these escalating cases, the DOH decided to declare June of every year as “Prostate Cancer Awareness Month” to raise the awareness of male populace not to disregard symptoms leading to prostate cancer.

Some of the telltale signs of an impending prostate problem include a need to urinate frequently, especially at night, difficulty starting urination or holding back urine, weak or interrupted flow of urine, painful or burning urination and blood in urine or semen, among others.—Ana Liza Macatangay

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