FACE TO FACE: Men’s health no laughing matter

For many men, the thought of a prostate exam is liable to produce cringes or nervous laughter.

Dr. Ken Poon is a urologist at Delta Hospital.

For many men, the thought of a prostate exam is liable to produce cringes or nervous laughter.

But men’s health issues like prostate and bladder cancer are no laughing matter, says Delta Hospital urologist Dr. Ken Poon, and early detection can save your life.

Poon grew up in Richmond before studying medicine at UBC, and opened up his Ladner clinic in 2003.

He also runs the online resource metrovanurology.com, which helps connect patients with all the information they need to prepare them for a procedure and help guide them through their recovery.

“It’s about empowering patients,” says Poon.

Unfortunately, many men who need Poon’s services don’t visit a physician until it is too late. Embarrassment and pride often lead men to avoid the inevitable, and what was once an easily treatable condition can become serious threat to their health.

Poon says the biggest challenge in men’s health is awareness. For one thing, “men’s health” includes sexual dysfunction, prostate health, bone health, and urinary tract infections.

“A lot of people perceive it to be about pumping guys full of testosterone, but that’s not a panacea,” he says. “We need to further the discussion so men feel comfortable… and are knowledgeable.”

Regular checkups can save your life and are nothing to be embarrassed about. Many men’s health issues, such as erectile dysfunction, can also be warning signs of serious heart problems.

“It’s the canary in the coal mine for future cardiovascular disease,” says Poon. “Most guys wouldn’t think twice about changing the oil in their car, but getting checked out, it’s just regular maintenance, it’s the same thing.”

Poon is one of the many speakers taking part in the first annual Delta Hospital Foundation’s Men’s Health Fundraiser on Nov. 26. The event will raise funds for the Delta Hospital Foundation which helps provide the hospital with much of its diagnostic equipment.

“70 to 80 per cent of our equipment in the hospital is donated,” says Poon. “Without local community support, we would not be able to function.”

The hospital’s state-of-the-art cystoscopes, which the Delta Hospital Foundation provided can not only detect bladder tumors, but remove them right on the spot.

“That’s why men need to just get it done,” says Poon. “

• For more information about the Delta Hospital Foundation’s Men’s Health Fundraiser, visit sdl.dhfoundation.ca

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