Poor knowledge on the prevalence and detection of prostate cancer is killing a number of Fijian men yearly.
According to Dr. Rajeev Patel a Consultant Urologist from the Colonial War Memorial (CWM) Hospital the Ministry of Health comes across around 30-50 cases of prostate cancer in Fiji annually now.
Speaking at The University of the South Pacific Lautoka Campus organised awareness program on 11th March 2020 on prostate and breast cancer Dr. Patel informed the campus students and staff members that the Fijian population has very limited knowledge about prostate cancer.
He revealed that the patients who normally present themselves to the medical authorities have advance stage of prostate cancer therefore chances of survival becomes very low.
Dr. Patel stated that in 2014 the largest survey conducted in Fiji and the Pacific regarding men’s health status revealed that 92 % of the male population do not have prostate cancer test.
He revealed that two third of our population have very poor knowledge about prostate cancer and very poor attitude towards the deadly disease.
The cancer specialist stressed that there is an urgent need of greater awareness amongst the male population so that people refer to the medical authorities at an early stage which is curable.
“Prostate cancer has become the most common cancers in men and 1 in 7 men around the world are likely to have this cancer.
“Prostate cancer is normally very common in men over the age of 50 when they initially find difficulty in passing of urine.”
Dr. Patel reminded the students that they need to observe any behavioral change in their fathers or grandfathers especially while visiting the washroom.
He stressed that if the elderly men are visiting the toilet quite frequently then the situation is not normal and loved ones should immediately get them medically examined.
He emphasized that usually the male population is very reluctant to get themselves tested therefore family members need to take that extra step.
Meanwhile, Dr. Patel also urged all female students attending the program to regularly examine their breast and immediately report to health officials if they find anything abnormal.