- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
April 09, 2004

Men’s Month: Program offers free prostate examination

April is designated as Men’s Health Protection Month in Armenia, during which men will be encouraged to have prostate gland examinations. Free sonogram examinations will be offered at the Armenia Medical Center in Yerevan.
The Center is offering free exams for men this month

It is the first time such examinations have been given free in Armenia.

“We want to pay much more attention to men’s health and render quality medical treatment to them,” says director of Urology at the Center, Armen Muradyan.

Muradyan says that while more attention has always been paid to women’s health, there are no centers designated to men’s health care.

“This is not only our country's problem. It is the problem of the entire world. Breast cancer, which is the most common disease that women suffer, and prostate cancer of men have the same rate of occurrence,” Muradyan says. “The mortality rate is almost the same and diseases start as a result of almost the same causes.”

Muradyan says there are numerous private and public organizations which developed programs for early detection. But those services do not function as effectively as possible, due to a lack of money.

The Urology Center and Diagnostic Department of Armenia (at Republican Hospital) and Urology Department of the Yerevan State University have initiated the April campaign.

“We decided to realize these measures by our own forces, however, when the Minister of Healthcare knew about the program he promised to render state assistance,” Muradyan syas. “All other medical centers of the republic will join us voluntary and this program will become countrywide.”

Mainly 40-45 year old men will be served in the center. And, also in a new measure for Armenia, their results will be recorded on a CD file.

“Of course, it would be good if all our citizens had such e-passports with the information starting from the moment of mother's pregnancy,” Muradyan says, adding that the system is a first-step toward creating a “Health Bank”.

Muradyan hopes men will get exams before they need treatment

Ordinarily, prostate gland screening costs 10,000 drams (about $18). Until the end of the month, however, they will be free.

After examinations, high-risk patients will be included on special lists for further treatment.

The specialist says that with age-specific disease such as prostate cancer, a man may not feel any discomfort until it is already too late to cure.

“One of the goals of the program is to allow people to undergo examinations when they have no complaints yet,” explains Muradyan.

Muradyan says the program’s success will rely heavily on women encouraging their men to participate.

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Wednesday (April 7) was "Day of Mothers and Beauty" in Armenia. At Zvartnots International Airport, staff greeted girls and women with flowers -- one small step for womenkind, one giant leap for civility in civil aviation.



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