Bro, nagpa-DRE ka na ba (as in Digital Rectal Exam)? Sounds eeew, but it’s a necessary test to screen prostate cancer, the second most common cancer (next to lung cancer) among Filipino men.
Dubbed as the “silent killer among men,” prostate cancer kills one person every hour around the world, and it doesn’t have any symptoms in its early stages. Empress Schucks!
Since the past years have been all about fighting breast cancer, the Philippine Urological Association and the Department of Health realized it’s about time to campaign for men’s health, too. Hence, the Prostate Awareness Month was born. And for the first time last June 14, all public and private urology clinics in the country offered free DRE!
In case you were not able to take advantage of the event, we give you: Prostate Cancer 101! Scroll down to know its symptoms, treatment and screening options, and why you should be very, very afraid for your yagbols!
What is that Prostate Gland?
In case you forgot your high school sex ed, the prostate is the walnut-sized gland in front of your rectum surrounding your urine tube. It produces semen and enlarges as you age. If it enlarges abnormally, you’ll have problems in urinating, sexual intercourse, and erectile dysfunction (you wouldn’t want that). It’s also called the “male G-spot,” allegedly the favorite plaything of our gay brothers for its ability to trigger orgasms when stimulated.
What are the symptoms of an enlarged prostate?
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have an abnormally enlarged prostate:
- A weak or slow urinary stream
- A feeling of incomplete bladder emptying
- Difficulty starting urination
- Frequent urination
- Urgency to urinate
- Getting up frequently at night to urinate
- A urinary stream that starts and stops
- Straining to urinate
- Continued dribbling of urine
- Returning to urinate again minutes after finishing
Other serious problems can also develop over time, including urinary tract infection (UTI), bladder stones, blood in the urine, incontinence, and acute urinary retention (an inability to urinate).
Why do I need screening now?
Catching prostate cancer early is tricky because it either lacks symptoms, or shares symptoms with less deadly ailments of the gland. “We ask the patients for problems in urination, but this is more common with benign conditions of the prostate,” says Dr. Samuel Yrastorza, MD, Assistant Professor of General Urology, Endourology, Urooncology at the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center College of Medicine. “We want to catch and treat prostate cancer at an early stage. That is why we encourage men above 40 years old, with or without symptoms, to undergo yearly prostate screening.”