Guyanese men are being encouraged to get screened for prostate cancer starting at age 40.
This is according to a urologist at the Georgetown Public Hospital, Dr. Rajendra Sukhraj who says with symptoms of prostate cancer being harder to detect in young men, early screening is essential.
Speaking with News Room Guyana, Sukhraj said this is because the country has a lot of undetected cases of prostate cancer.
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“Early screening gives access to faster treatment, he said.
“Mostly it occurs in men in their sixties and usually in the early stages; prostate cancer doesn’t have any symptoms, so there usually isn’t any urinary symptoms.
“So by the time you start having symptoms, it’s already advanced.”
Sukhraj noted that most countries start screening when men are 45 years old and older, but in Guyana, men can get screened from as young as 40.
The tests for screening include blood sampling called a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test.
This test measures the level of PSA – in the blood, the levels can be higher in men who have prostate cancer.
“We see a lot of aggressive prostate cancer disease in our men, especially those who are from African ancestry. This is not suggesting that men of other ethnicities are exempt by any means.”
“Because of the high-risk factor in Caribbean men, we encourage screening from the age of 40 but we have a higher risk of the disease,” Sukhraj said, adding, “If we catch it early we can offer a cure but if you come in the late stages, we can suppress it but we cannot offer you a cure.”
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