By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
WHEN Dr Greggory Pinto decided to become a urologist he did so with the aim of improving the quality of lives of Bahamian men.
According to Dr Pinto, Bahamian men are unfortunately "notoriously poor at addressing their own health needs." This is also the reason why he is spearheading the Men's Health Talk this Wednesday which will address some of the most common, and often taboo, health issues men are facing today,
The Men's Talk will be held at the Family Medicine Centre beginning at 6pm.
The topics will include any urinary issues, male infertility, kidney stones, chronic pelvic pain, circumcision, vasectomies, blood in the urine, cancers of the prostate, kidneys, bladder and penis.
It will be an open forum whereby all questions are encouraged in a confidential and supportive environment, said Dr Pinto.
"Prostate cancer will strike one in six Bahamian men in their lifetime. The Bahamas has the 14th highest per capita prostate cancer incidence in the world. At least 80 Bahamian men died of prostate cancer in 2018 and more than 200 Bahamian men were diagnosed with prostate cancer that same year. Bahamian men have all the risk factors for an aggressive form of prostate cancer, in being a nation of predominantly men of African ancestry, having a high rate of obesity and have a high incidence of BRCA gene mutations," he said.
Erectile dysfunction is also another taboo topic that Bahamian men are timid in speaking about it, Dr Pinto said.
It is so taboo that men are also reluctant to seek out the help of a urologist regarding the issue.
"Erectile dysfunction may take the form of premature ejaculation or the inability to achieve and maintain a good quality erection. The possible causes of erectile dysfunction are multiple, which may include an impaired penile blood or nerve supply, low testosterone, performance anxiety, side effects of medications or undiagnosed/poorly controlled diabetes and/or high blood pressure. You can always rise again," he said.
But men must overcome their fear as the first step in treating erectile function is seeking the comprehensive, compassionate and confidential consult of a urologist.
"Bahamian men are definitely reluctant to speak about erectile dysfunction because they often feel that they are a failure and less than a man when faced with erectile dysfunction. Almost every man faces erectile dysfunction in his lifetime and the real tragedy is suffering needlessly in silence when you are not alone and with the aid of a urologist, you will always rise again."
Not only are men shy about questions surrounding erectile dysfunction, said Dr Pinto, but urinary issues is also a topic they rarely raise.
"Far too many Bahamian endure a poor night sleep because of frequent urination and they have their urinary problems control their lives and rob them often of their happiness. Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) can be managed very successfully with medications or minimally invasive urological procedures. Bahamian taxi drivers should not have to suffer the indignity of driving around with a container in which they urinate because they will never make it to even pulling over to the side of the road to urinate. Bahamian teachers should not very afraid to drink a glass of water because they can't teach a class without having to frequently urinate. Bahamian men in general do not need to live their lives sleep deprived because they are waking up five times in the night to urinate," he said.
Those men who may be timid when it comes to discussing such issues are encouraged to attend the talk and have some of their pressing concerns laid to rest.
Dr Pinto said Bahamian men should no longer suffer in silence and despair when many urological ailments that can be treated.