Why an annual prostate checkup is important

Posted at 06/25/2014 10:05 PM | Updated as of 06/26/2014 10:40 AM

MANILA -- Men who are already in their 40s must get their prostate checked for any irregularity or enlargement, according to a urologist.

The prostate is a small gland located near the bladder, which secretes hormones that are essential for reproduction.

Just like other types of cancer, early detection of prostate cancer gives a patient a higher chance of cure.

On Tuesday's episode of DZMM radio show "Magandang Gabi Dok," Dr. Samuel Yrastorza, a urologist and chairman of the Prostate Health Awareness Committee, Philippine Urological Association, Inc., said the prostate gland normally gets bigger when men reach the age of 40.

"Mayroon tayong tinatawag na benign prostatic hyperplasia, lumalaki ang prostate gland pero hindi siya cancer," he said.

Yraztorza added that the risk for prostate cancer peaks around the age of 60 to 70.

The problem with prostate cancer, however, is that it does not exhibit symptoms in its early stages.

"Kapag maliit pa (ang prostate), pwede pang gamutin, pwedeng tanggalin ang cancer," Yrastorza said.

He added that recent studies showed that prostate cancer can be genetic. "Kung meron kang tatay, kapatid na lalaki, lolo na may prostate cancer, mataas ang chances mo na magkaroon din ng cancer," he said.

Thus Yrastorza encouraged men above the age of 40 to go on an annual exam to have their prostate checked, noting that most men refuse to do this because they find the digital examination painful and even awkward.

Although there are other ways to have the prostate checked, he said a digital examination, or inserting the fingers through the anus, is the best way to check the prostate for any regularity.

"Ang daliri naming mga urologist, mas sensitive pa kaysa sa ultrasound o MRI," Yrastorza boasted.