x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Early screening vital in fight against prostate cancer, say UAE experts

A Dubai Health Authority urologist says about half of his new cases involve patients with advanced cancer which early detection could have prevented.

DUBAI // Between one and two men have prostate cancer diagnosed every month at Dubai Hospital, a doctor has said.

Dr Fariborz Bagheri, a urologist, said roughly half of the new cases he sees involve patients with advanced cancer that requires life-long treatment. On average, the hospital has about 120 prostate cancer patients each year.

Dr Bagheri’s statement comes as part of an effort by the Dubai Health Authority to raise awareness about the disease, encouraging more men to get early check-ups that increase their chances of successful treatment.

“Presently, in the Middle East region, we find that prostate diseases are neglected and this causes serious problems among men,” he said.

“There is a lack of awareness about prostate cancer and other prostate diseases in the region. This, despite the fact that worldwide prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men, and after lung cancer, prostate cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in men.”

Men often can have prostate cancer for years without any apparent signs and symptoms. It is recommended that all men of about 50 years of age undergo regular screenings. Men with a family history of the disease should start screening in their 40s, Dr Bahgeri said.

“Emphasis on early screening is vital because if detected in time, prostate cancer can be completely cured.”

In more than 50 per cent of all cases, Dr Bagheri’s patients have advanced stages of prostate cancer. In many western countries, cases are detacted earlier, with doctors seeing patients with advanced stages of the disease only 10 to 20 per cent of the time, he said.

“Education and awareness is one of the major reasons for this,” he said.

Prostate cancer affects one in six men, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, and the risk increases with age.

Although only one in 10,000 men under the age of 40 will receive the diagnosis, the rate shoots up to one in 38 for ages 40 to 59, and one in 14 for ages 60 to 69.

Other common prostate diseases includes prostate inflammation which mostly affects adolescents and younger men.

“If this disease is undiagnosed or diagnosed late, it may result in erectile dysfunction or cause fertility problems in men,” said Dr Bagheri, adding that about 25 per cent of men between 15 to 25 years old suffer from the disease.

vtodorova@thenational.ae