Movember: UAE population to see higher rates of prostate cancer as expat residents settle down

Doctors call for enhanced screening and early detection efforts as they foresee a spike in prostate cancer cases among the UAE’s ageing expat population in the next 30 years

Cases of prostate cancer, which is strongly tied to ageing, are expected to rise in the UAE in the coming years as demographics shift towards an older population, doctors told Arabian Business, calling for more screening this Movember.

These cases may well increase within the next 30 years as the UAE’s population demographics continue to shift. Currently, the UAE is home to over 9.5 million people with a median age of 33.5 years, though new visa initiatives are attracting residents across a wider age range.

Lack of regular screening leads to late stage diagnoses in UAE

In addition to raising population age, doctors note a concerning trend of late-stage diagnoses in the UAE compared to other countries.

“Health education and awareness at the community level is the most effective way to facilitate screening. Next comes identifying barriers to screening and designing a barrier-specific resolution,” said Dr. Shantan Tyagi, a urology specialist at Medeor Hospital Dubai.

Aside from public advertisements and incentivisation, he suggested that clinics take into account barriers such as inconvenient clinic hours, limited capacity follow-up on abnormal results, patient anxiety, cost of treatment, and lack of transportation.

Tyagi recommends high-risk men have their first PSA testing between age 45 and 50.

Nubla also stressed the importance of raising awareness, especially because prostate cancer does not present any specific symptoms. “We should take this as an opportunity to make our patients more aware of the cancer screening programs and the significance of early detection,” she said.

“Symptoms can overlap with [those] of benign prostate hypertrophy, which are increased urinary frequency, interrupted urinary flow, incomplete voiding sensation, painful urination, and blood in urine.”

Jaafar agreed that leveraging public health outreach is essential. “It is important to have a well-established screening program, reaching out to individuals aged 55 or above, and encouraging them to undergo PSA testing,” he noted.

Read More: Arabian Business.

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