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.
Projections suggest that the UAE population could reach over 10.6 million by 2030, adding to the country’s future prostate cancer burden as more long-term residents face higher risk levels that come with ageing.
November, commonly referred to as Movember, is prostate cancer awareness month, and doctors across the UAE are mobilising to raise awareness on the disease as incidence continues to rise globally and the UAE’s population is not getting any younger.
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.”
Read More: Arabian Business