Early diagnosis key in successful cancer treatment

Monday December 9 2019



Dr. Christopher Peterson

Dr. Christopher Peterson 

We always make it clear, swallow your pride and get screened before it is too late

Few days ago, I was invited to one of the radio stations in town for health talk.

The on-table topic that day was the issue of how young people today do not participate in any form of cancer screening, mainly because they either think it is still too early for someone their age to be diagnosed with cancer or sometimes because of the embarrassment they face when it comes to screening procedures for the certain types of reproductive health cancers.

The discussion also involved a young man in his early 30’s 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 story of how he ran away from doctor’s examination room on the day he was supposed to be examined because he couldn’t stand the embarrassment because he thought the procedure would invade his privacy.

The man confesses today that he was blindly trapped by his foolishness as he regrets, “if I were to turn back the hands of time, I would get screened early and the story would have been different today, I encourage my fellow youths to forget the embarrassment and get screened,” he said.

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As he was speaking, this man reminded me about a recent encounter with my patient, a lady who was recommended to have pap smear to check for vaginal and cervical cancer after complaining unusual vaginal bleeding especially after intercourse, watery vaginal discharge, pelvic pain and extreme fatigue.

I remember when we were in examination room I ordered her to lie on examination bed for the procedure, she seemed reluctant a little bit “no way doctor, I have always said I would rather die than exposing my private parts just like this.

This is kind embarrassing you know”, she blinked back at me as I was taken aback.

She finally changed her mind after I managed to convince her that the pap smear had to be done and have a proper diagnosis.

It’s true that young people today are embarrassed and uncomfortable speaking to their doctors about their medical conditions that they are delaying in seeking help for potentially life-threatening illness.

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

Cancer in young people does occur. Some cancers like prostate cancer, bowel cancer and breast cancer get more prevalent with age, although they can strike at any time.

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 high, your prospects are better if you’re diagnosed and treated at an early stage.

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