PORT MORESBY – FEBRUARY 26, 2021: 1:29 PM (POST COURIER) : Head and neck, prostate, testicular and penile cancers are among the common cancers that affect men in Papua New Guinea.
Port Moresby General Hospital’s physician and oncologist Dr Peter Olali, in an interview with the Post- Courier this week, said out of these different types of men’s cancers, head and neck cancers are very common admissions at the hospital.
“We see these patients every day who present themselves with tongue, throat and mouth cancers.
“Out of 20 patients seen in a day, head and neck cancers are common and this affects any age group and the numbers keep increasing.
“The causes of such cancer are due to chewing of betelnut, smoking, and consuming too much alcohol,” he said.
He said for prostate cancer, it is more common in older men when they reach the age of 50 years and over.
When they present themselves to the hospital, usually it is at its late stage.
Dr Peter Olali said it is not common in young men as last year 2020, where only five patients were seen.
He said testicular cancer is more common in younger males and this cancer is also a germ cell cancer.
“This means that they originate from cells once born as these cells are responsible for the reproductive system.
“For very few people, those cells develop into cancer but this cancer is not commonly seen at the hospital.
“For penile cancer, it is very rare but the common cause of it is by Sexual Transmitted Infection (STI),” Dr Olali said.
For treatment wise, he said when detected early, it can be treated as soon as possible.
Dr Olali said due to a smaller cancer facility at the hospital with only two nurses, when these patients come in, due to manpower issues, sometimes patients are sent away and are asked to return later.
“We also experience drug shortage where patients are asked to purchase their own medicine until the new stock is in.
He said with the construction of the new cancer facility at the Port Moresby General Hospital, they are now preparing the man power.
“Once the facility starts to operate, we will get the manpower that can cater for the patients.
“We are in the process of recruiting six nurses now.
“Though the target is 12 to get them trained ahead in preparation for the upcoming cancer centre,” Dr Olali said.