Swallow your pride and get that screening today

Monday April 16 2018


By Dr Chris Peterson

A few days ago, I was invited to one of the radio stations in town for a health talk. The at hand was the issue of young people’s lack of interest in cancer screenings.

This is mainly because they either think it is still too early for them to be diagnosed with cancer or sometimes because of the embarrassment they face when it comes to screening procedures for the certain types of gynecological cancers.

The discussion involved a young man in his 30s who is battling with prostate cancer, a type of cancer that confines and grows in the prostate, a small wall nut-shaped gland in men that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.

This young man came to share his true story that he ran away from doctor’s examination room on the day he was to be examined at the very first time because he couldn’t stand the embarrassmentby the procedures to detect his prostate cancer initially.

The man confesses that he was blindly trapped by his foolishness as he regrets.

“If I had got screened on the very first day, the story would have been different today, I encourage my fellow youth to get screened for the benefits are greater than the embarrassment,” he said.

As he was speaking, he reminded me about my recent encounter with a patient, who had been instructed to get a pap smear to check for vaginal and cervical cancer after complaining unusual vaginal bleeding especially after intercourse, watery discharge, pelvic pain and extreme fatigue that both lasted for a time.

I remember when we were in examination room I ordered her to lie on examination bed for a procedure, she seemed reluctant a little bit.

“No way doctor, have I always said I would rather die than exposing my private parts to a stranger. It is kind of embarrassing you know,” she said. After some lengthy conversation she was ready to change her mind.

It’s true that young people today are embarrassed and uncomfortable speaking to their doctors that they delay seeking help for potentially life-threatening symptoms.

And if you ask them, the most common reason they give is embarrassment.

We need to put young people and cancer into perspective although cancer is far more common in older people than in the young.

Cancer does occur in young people and that is a fact. Some cancers, like, prostate cancer, bowel cancer and breast cancer get more common with age, although they can strike at any time. Others are almost exclusively the preserve of the young.

According to American Cancer Society, testicular cancer, and prostate cancer as with every other kind, early diagnosis is crucial.

Although with testicular cancer, the outlook is very good, with the high survival rate overall, your prospects are better if you’re diagnosed and treated early.