‘416 men diagnosed with prostate cancer’

Fiji Cancer Society CEO Belinda Chan and Berlinda Williams (Extra Supermarket) listen in to Dr Parneet Harish of the Urology clinic at CWM hospital in Suva yesterday. Picture: MONIKA SINGH

A TOTAL of 416 men have been diagnosed with prostate cancer in the past seven years, which averages to 60 Fijian men being afflicted with the disease annually.

Minister for Health Dr Atonio Lalabalavu highlighted this during the handover of the Transperineal Ultrasound Machine donated by Extra Supermarket to the Colonial War Memorial Hospital’s Urology Clinic yesterday.

He said the numbers were a significant burden for a small country like Fiji.

“Prostate cancer, in fact, is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among men in Fiji,” Dr Lalabalavu said.

He said cancer had become a global epidemic, affecting people of all ages, and unfortunately, Fiji was not spared from its impact.

“Over the past few decades cancer cases in our country have been steadily increasing, making it the third most common cause of deaths in Fiji.

“Women are particularly vulnerable to breast, cervix, uterus, ovary, and rectum cancer, while men commonly face lung, prostate, colorectal, stomach, and liver cancer.”

He said one of the biggest challenges with prostate cancer was the lack of early symptoms, often leading to late-stage diagnosis.

“This is why regular prostate cancer screenings for men over the age of 50 is vital.”

A urologist and senior registrar at the Urology Department at CWMH, Dr Parneet Harish, said with the help of the new machine, they would be able to get accurate information on cancer in prostrates.

“This machine is much more safer for the patients and much more accurate,” he said.

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