To increase public awareness and understanding of prostate cancer, the Department of Health (DOH) on September 01, 2021 led the observance of the Prostate Cancer Awareness Month (PCAM) with the theme “Prostate Cancer Sama-Samang Labanan, Tamang Impormasyon Kailangan.”

As part of the national observance of PCAM, the DOH in collaboration with various agencies and specialty societies will be having a month-long lineup of activities to promote disease awareness and help the public understand the ways to prevent and detect prostate cancer through a series of webinars and posting of educational materials in digital media.

Citing the 2020 data from the Global Cancer Observatory (GCO), the DOH said that prostate cancer is the fifth leading cancer site and third leading cause of cancer deaths among Filipino males. Meanwhile, the Philippine Cancer Society in 2015 said that about 6 in 10 cases are diagnosed in men aged 65 or older. The average age at the time of diagnosis is 66 years old.

While early diagnosis is key to beating prostate cancer, the exact cause of it is unknown, so at this time it is not possible to prevent most cases of the disease. Many risk factors such as age, race, and family history cannot be controlled. The Department explained that prostate cancer can often be detected early through testing such as using a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) or through a digital rectal exam (DRE).

The DOH said that knowing the right information is the most important weapon the public has against prostate cancer and other public health concerns. Early recognition of the symptoms and knowing if one needs to get screened can ensure early diagnosis and possibly lead to defeating prostate cancer.