Prostate cancer is an important but often uncomfortable topic for men, especially older men, who may not like the invasive method of detection needed to uncover it. Nevertheless, the threat is real and today Belize’s leading public hospital, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted renowned specialist from Cuba, Dr. Jorge Alberto Gonzalez Hernandez, in a continuing medical education session with local doctors today. Speaking afterward with the press, Dr. Gonzalez and Belizean Dr. Omar Avilez spoke about the issue. Translating from Dr. Gonzalez’s Spanish, Dr. Avilez spoke about the stigma attached to prostate cancer treatment.
Dr Omar Aviez:
Because of the machesemo they don’t want a finger inspected inside. So that does contribute to decreased detection of it. There’s also two other fundamental failures, which include the PSA, even though it’s not completely specific to prostate cancer, because you can have a PSA altered or very high but not necessarily have prostrate cancer. Finally you have the biopsy, and although your digital rectal is up, one fundamental diagnosing of prostrate cancer is only one of three fundamental pillars that they use together to diagnose prostrate cancer.
The race factor is also an issue, with black people more likely to have the disorder than other races.
Dr Omar Aviez:
Race is a very important factor in prostrate cancer. People of Black race have a much higher incidence of prostrate cancer than people of White race. That’s why in countries like China and Japan they have a very low incidence of prostrate cancer, as opposed to countries like Cuba and Belize that have a very high black race. The African continent as well has a very high incidence of prostrate cancer. There have been many studies to investigate why there is a higher incidence of prostrate cancer in the Black race. There’s been molecular biology studies to try to investigate why, but there hasn’t been any conclusive evidence as to why that has happened. It does remain of very important statistical significance that it is higher in the Black race.
Men are advised to stay away from fatty foods and too much milk and dairy products as these increase the risk. As for the local factor, Dr. Marcus Rugama, who will co-host specialist urology clinics with Dr. Gonzalez at the hospital today, notes that even though there are few cases in Belize at present, it is important to get tested. There is only one trained urologist in Belize but two more are out studying that specialization.