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PROSTATE CANCER

PROSTATE CANCER

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Dr. Rohan DeShong: “From the time a man notices a slowing of the stream when he urinates he should visit his doctor.”

As children and spouses work over time making their father’s day gift selections, urologist Dr. Rohan De Shong is concerned that fathers are not giving themselves the most important gift of all, good health! He is of the opinion that they have allowed social taboos and an unhealthy, lackadaisical disposition to rob them of the chance of maintaining good health and receiving early treatment for various health concerns that they face, including those of the prostate.{{more}}

In a recent one-on-one with SEARCHLIGHT HEALTH, Dr. De Shong reiterated the widely held position that black men are more likely to struggle with such issues because of their general procrastination as regards visiting doctors for regular check ups when compared with Caucasian men who usually benefit from early detection and aggressive and early treatment.

As he zeroed in on prostate health, Dr. De Shong said that black men and more specifically Caribbean men display a morbid but quite unnecessary fear of the infamous rectal exam that is part of the examination process when determining the status of the prostate gland. He has even had to bend the general rule a bit by avoiding doing the rectal exam on patients unless their urine and ultrasound tests show signs of abnormally.

Dispelling another myth, Dr. De Shong said that Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH) is more prominent than prostate cancer. “An enlarged prostate does not mean that you automatically have cancer,” explained De Shong, adding that BPH happens progressively in every man.

The thing that concerns De Shong is that there are many signs that indicate the enlarging of the prostate gland but again too many men wait until it is in an advanced state to check things out. “From the time a man notices a slowing of the stream when he urinates he should visit his doctor,” stated De Shong.

Other signs in this progressive condition is hesitancy when one goes to urinate, having to wait a few seconds before the urine begins to flow, the need to force out urine, where one’s flow of urine starts and stops. As it worsens, one can see a rapid increase in the frequency of urination including the need to get up often at night to pass urine. With this frequency and the forcing out of urine, you then begin to pass blood with the urine and all this is accompanied by a deep discomfort in the lower abdomen.

Once these signs begin to manifest, it is crucial that a man gets checked out because if there is any formation of cancer, early detection is key to the treatment’s success. De Shong made it a point to note that cancers on a whole have a lot to do with lifestyle and thus even genetic diseases can be avoided if a person practices a healthy lifestyle.

Even though it has been repeated like a broken record, Dr. De Shong still contends that a healthy diet, which consists of lots of fruits and vegetables and a decreased consumption of animal fats, lots of exercise and the avoidance of very unhealthy habits like smoking, go a long way in preventing the formation of all types of cancers. “Men who are overweight are at an increased risk of developing prostate cancer,” said the urologist of 12 years.

De Shong who has practiced medicine in Jamaica, The United Kingdom and Barbados prior to returning to St. Vincent 5 years ago told SEARCHLIGHT HEALTH that it may come as a shock to many but even stress can contribute to the formation of cancerous cells in the body, hence the promotion of total well being, including emotional and mental health is crucial to the preaching of the gospel of healthy living. He explained that if the body is stressed out then its ability to properly regenerate and produce the antioxidants needed to fight off infections and cancers is reduced.

De Shong admonished high risk men, those 40 and over, to get their urine examination, ultra sound and rectal examinations done as soon as possible. He told SEARCHLIGHT HEALTH that more must be said in the media about health issues so as to help reduce the ignorance and deflate the myths and old wives tales that can have such a detrimental effect on our health.

So dads, why not give yourselves Father’s Day presents, healthy lives!

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