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Bluewater Health putting spotlight on prostate health

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Journal staff

Bluewater Health is highlighting men’s health this month, with some tips about prostate health, ahead of a fundraising event for the hospital’s Urology and Prostate Cancer Clinic.

“Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Canadian men, but this disease can be prevented with simple lifestyle changes and early detection,” the hospital noted in a news release, encouraging men to get screened for prostate cancer — which can often be found early by testing for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood levels.

Healthy eating and regular exercising are strongly encouraged, as well as awareness of erectile dysfunction — which can be an early warning sign of heart disease.

Bluewater Health is making its mark as a leader in prostate health in the region, the hospital said, as the only hospital in southwestern Ontario to offer a transperineal prostate biopsy, a procedure that helps diagnose prostate cancer, known for being extremely safe, with little to no risk of sepsis occurring afterwards.

Bluewater Health Urologists Dr. Alvaro Ramirez, Dr. Paul Martin and Dr. Dhiraj Dhanjani began offering ultrasound guided transperineal prostate biopsies two and a half years ago, and have since performed well over 500 procedures.

The move to offering this modern procedure came early in the pandemic as a strategy to maintain access to prostate cancer diagnostics while restrictions were in place, the hospital noted.

“Previously, the majority of prostate biopsies were conducted transrectally. The main advantage of this new technique is that the risk of a serious life-threatening infection decreases significantly; approximately 0.1% compared to roughly 2-4% risk with the traditional transrectal biopsy,” said Dr. Alvaro Ramirez, Urologist, Medical Director, Surgical & Ambulatory Care.

“We have also found that the transperineal approach has a higher rate of cancer detection among patients, as we are able to reach areas that are sometimes missed or harder to reach.”

During a transperineal approach, the urologist passes the biopsy needle through the perineal skin, reaches the prostate via the perineum with a dedicated biopsy needle device under local anesthetic or sedation. With improved and targeted use of local anesthesia, urologists can perform this procedure with minimal discomfort for patients in as little as 10-15 minutes.

Later this month, the Bluewater Health Foundation will host its annual Pints for Prostates, at Sports, located on  London Rd. behind Refined Fool Brewing Co. The event, sponsored by Straight Edge Hair Designs and Fine Artscapes, will feature prizes, a 50/50 draw and a cornhole tournament. All proceeds will go to Bluewater Health’s Urology and Prostate Cancer Clinic.

“We are thrilled to be hosting this fun and informative event once again this year,” says Kathy

Alexander, Executive Director, Bluewater Health Foundation. “We are lucky to have three Bluewater Health Urologists in attendance, and they will be available to answer any questions guests may have about prostate health. It’s a great opportunity to open up more discussion about men’s health and we are incredibly thankful for their community involvement and engagement.”

To register your team of four in the cornhole tournament, contact Adelle Stewardson at

[email protected] Cost is $40 per team.

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