“We are increasingly seeing many men turn up in big numbers to screen for prostate cancer. This is a good thing because it means if one has the disease and is diagnosed early, he can be started on treatment and we are able to save his life,” Kawooya said.
Prof. Dr. Michele Kawooya working with Earnest Cook Ultrasound Research and Education Institute (ECUREI) at Mengo Hospital has revealed that they are beginning to see an increase in the number of men turning up at the facility to screen for prostate cancer.
Prof. Kawooya noted that when it comes to health seeking behavior for different illnesses, men still lag behind compared to women, and this means if a man develops an illness like prostate cancer, does not seek for early treatment, chances of surviving are minimal especially when the disease is diagnosed late.
Prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in the prostate — a small walnut-shaped gland in men that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.
Kawooya was speaking during a medical camp held at Mengo hospital on Friday. During the camp, hundreds of men and women turned up for free breast cancer and prostate cancer screening.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease.
"We are increasingly seeing many men turn up in big numbers to screen for prostate cancer. This is a good thing because it means if one has the disease and is diagnosed early, he can be started on treatment and we are able to save his life," Kawooya said.
"Prostate cancer is silent killer disease and can only be cured when detected early, do not wait to first fall sick to go to a health facility. Many men like to hide illnesses and turn up to health facilities when eaten up, and sometimes, the disease is in its advanced stage and we cannot save their lives, , it is important to screen regularly," Prof. Kawooya adds
Though prostate cancer can have no symptoms in the beginning, at a later stage, one can experience pain the bones, excessive urination in the night, frequent urination, urge to urinate and leaking or weak urinary stream and difficult starting and maintaining a steady stream of urine.
According to the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI), prostate cancer is now the most common cancer among men in Uganda with age standardized incidence rates of 39.6 per 100,000 per annum and a 4.5% annual increase.
Risk factors for developing prostate cancer include, age, men aged 50 and above, men whose relatives have had prostate cancer, high dietary fat may be a contributing factor for prostate cancer.
Prof. Kawooya advises any men in their 50's and above and those from families with history of this cancer to regularly screen, and encourages proper feeding with balanced diet.
Frank Mutebi, one of the men that turned up for screening said sometimes, men want to go for screening, but are hindered by financial problems.
"A man may want to do a scan and he is asked to pay sh30, 000 and may not have it. That is why some stay away. It is important for health facilities to organize more of these free screening services for men and with time, many more with embrace it," Mutebi advised.
On the other hand, Oliver Nalukwago, medical personnel at Mengo hospital advised pregnant women to seek for medical care when they see the following signs during pregnancy.
Bleeding during pregnancy, fluid leak, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath that seems to be getting worse, severe pressure in the pelvis among others as these could put you and baby in danger.