The month of November provides us an opportunity to bring awareness to men’s health issues. This month, we sat down with SHN’s very own Dr. Zachary Klinghoffer about the importance of men’s health and the new medical innovations SHN is doing to care for the men in our Scarborough community.
Please tell us a bit about yourself and your connection to SHN.
I am one of the urologists at SHN. Our field, Urology, focuses on the management and surgery of the urinary tract, including the kidneys and bladder in both men and women, and the prostate in men. It has been a privilege to work at SHN for over a decade. The friendliness, openness, and diversity of our community’s patients, as well as the staff at SHN, make it a remarkable and unique place to work.
What advice would you give men in Scarborough regarding their health?
The best health advice for men in Scarborough, and indeed anywhere, is to eat as healthy a diet as possible, stay fit and active, and maintain positive relationships with friends and family. These are the best ways to lower the chances of developing cancer and heart disease, the main threats to our health in middle and later years.
Why would you say it is important to bring awareness to men’s health issues for the month of November? And how do men’s health issues often get overlooked?
November provides an opportunity to highlight the importance of men’s health. Many men tend to downplay their health concerns, avoiding important discussions with healthcare providers and family. The more we talk about men’s health, the more comfortable men can be in discussing their concerns.
Please tell us about the brand new type of prostate biopsy performed at SHN. What is it and why is it special?
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men, and approximately 10% of all male cancer deaths in Canada in 2023 are expected to be due to prostate cancer. When detected early, prostate cancer is often curable.
Prostate cancer is typically detected with a prostate biopsy. Traditionally, this procedure was performed by passing biopsy needles through the rectum, an unsterile environment. As part of our ongoing commitment to patient care and medical innovation at SHN, we have transitioned to a new approach: transperineal prostate biopsy. This approach is only offered at a handful of hospitals across Canada and offers many important benefits:
- Reduced Risk of Infection: The transperineal biopsy substantially lowers the risk of infection compared to traditional transrectal biopsies, which pose a higher risk due to the proximity to bacteria in the rectum.
- Improved Accuracy and Detection: The transperineal method allows for more comprehensive access and sampling of the prostate.
- Fewer Complications: Patients undergoing transperineal biopsies experience fewer complications, such as rectal bleeding, which are common with transrectal biopsies.
- Impact on Healthcare Costs: Beyond direct patient health benefits, transperineal prostate biopsy can potentially lead to healthcare cost savings. By reducing the risk of infection and other complications, we anticipate a decrease in post-procedural care and associated expenses, benefiting patients and contributing to a more efficient healthcare system.
Because of donor support, we are able to make new technology like this possible. How important is having donor and community support for healthcare in Scarborough?
Donor support is crucial in bringing state-of-the-art medical technologies like transperineal prostate biopsy to our community. Unfortunately, with ever-increasing healthcare demands, government funding alone is often insufficient to cover all necessary advancements and improvements. The funding and resources provided by our generous donors have a direct impact on patient care. Moreover, donor contributions create a lasting legacy of improved healthcare for years to come.
All of us at the Foundation are extremely grateful to Dr. Klinghoffer and the entire SHN Urology team for their continued determination and commitment to patient care and medical innovations at SHN.
To donate to SHN Foundation visit SHNFoundation.ca/Donate .