Movember: Prostate cancer – a silent killer in men

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Prostate cancer patient Ananaiasa Koroi. Picture: ATU RASEA

Prostate cancer is a silent killer of many Fijian men.

Silent, because those afflicted with the disease often keep it to themselves, ashamed of what others may think and afraid of the stigma.

Only the brave few, who dare to talk about it, give us an insight into what life with prostate cancer is like.

One of those is Ananaiasa Koroi.

The 68-year-old was diagnosed with the life-threatening disease in 2019 after he was admitted at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva.

Mr Koroi said CWM Hospital became his second home because he would visit the hospital’s urology unit day in and day out.

“I’ve got only one word of advice for men out there, please look after your health and get your prostate checked regularly,” he said.

“Personally, for me, I think I had this disease in the 1990s but I never realised how important it was to have myself checked back then.

“This month of November, which we refer to as Movember for prostate cancer awareness, is the ideal time to have this important medical check-up.

“Living with prostate cancer is an experience that men will wish they never had and I am a living testimony of this.”

Mr Koroi said he worked for the then-Public Works Department (PWD) for 30 years before he retired.

Today, he dedicates his time working for the Nasereci Methodist Church near his home in Nepani, Nasinu where he is a lay preacher.

“In 2019, I got sick, I went to the Valelevu Health Center and from there I was referred to the CWM Hospital and that was how I got to know that I had prostate cancer.

“Since then I have been on medication and thanks to the Fiji Cancer Society, this is all catered for, they pay for all the prescribed medicines I am required to take to help with my current health condition.

“Having a support system like the Fiji Cancer Society has really helped me because they have been with me for the past two years, they pay for my transport to hospital, medical expenses and even delivered food to my home during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Mr Koroi said he was not discouraged when doctors informed him of the diagnosis in 2019 because he had a supportive family and a loving wife.

He said he was also privileged to be invited by the Suva Golden Oldies Rugby club to help raise awareness on prostate cancer this month.

“For those living with prostate cancer, please adhere to the advice from the doctors and take the daily prescribed medicine and at the same time raise more awareness on the need for men to get checked.

“Prostate cancer is a life-threatening disease that we cannot take as a joke.”

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