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Emperor to take prostate MRI test in November


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Is this really necessary? Feels a little bit vulgar to discuss anyone in such a personal situation.

25 ( +32 / -7 )

Give him some privacy. At most just mention he's undergoing a routine medical procedure.

22 ( +27 / -5 )

Why wait until November?

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Damn, JT's Top Story... one would think this would be near to the bottom.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

I think it's good to draw attention to such a potentially serious problem, many older men forego checkups, increasing the odds of developing problems that could have been attended to earlier. There has long been lots of attention paid to the importance of women checking for breast cancer, not very much for men checking for prostate cancer.

All men are at risk for prostate cancer. Out of every 100 American men, about 13 will get prostate cancer during their lifetime, and about 2 to 3 men will die from prostate cancer.https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/prostate/basic_info/risk_factors.htm

5 ( +12 / -7 )

One, there is no way in hell that it takes a month to get an MRI, particularly for the Emperor of Japan. If there are concerns about anything, the inference being prostate cancer here, TIME matters!

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Emperor to take prostate MRI test in November

Japanese "ningen docks" are an extremely detailed level of medical testing for the average citizen that was not much seen for the average citizen in the West barring debilitating symptoms.

I see that extends to announcements to tests of the internal workings of the hereditary monarchs in Japan.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

If this info is public, the level must be of a concern, but in the same time, the follow-up is in one month, not an emergency.

Anyway, I wonder why the info was not kept private.

If possible, do not wait 50 per the guidelines for a check-up. Some can develop cancer earlier. It has been part of my annual checkup since I turned 40 but my company was paying for it.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Best wishes. I had the old fashioned test, and felt violated. Good that the doctor said it was normal.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

His father's prostate cancer and its removal are public knowledge and continue to have hormone therapy.

I have had several all-body MRIs and hate having them.

Prostate cancer is very slow. 

Probably his PSA levels are not high and he is having the MRI because his father had prostate cancer.

Depending on the results the emperor may require a biopsy.

PSA testing should be part of the yearly medical checkup for all males 50+.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Is the Japanese health system so bad that even the Emperor has to wait a month for an MRI?

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Is the Japanese health system so bad that even the Emperor has to wait a month for an MRI?

No! Two months ago, I slipped, fell, and in the process twisted my back pretty badly. I had spinal fusion surgery many, many, years ago, and it felt, to me at least, like one of the bone grafts, fused into my spine, either cracked or moved.

I had serious pain, but only when I moved a certain way.

Long story short, went to the hospital, had an MRI and CT scan done within 3 hours of initially seeing the doctor.

It makes ZERO sense to me why he has to wait and wonder why is doctors are making him wait as well, almost like there is something not being told here about his condition.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

"Prostate cancer is very slow."

There seem to be two main forms of which the majority of malignant prostatic neoplasias are of the slow version and the remainder are the FAST version which is as deadly as malignant pancreatic neoplasia.

Globally, cancer of the Prostate is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death in Human males.

When it metastasizes, it most often goes to the bone and cancer of the bone is one of the more painful cancers to endure while dying.

The PSA test is, at this time, the subject of much debate in the medical community because of damaging false-positives that may cause unnecessary treatment and iatrogenic injury, and also false negatives.

And, like mammary cancer in both females and males, the BRCA mutation may play a role in increasing risk.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

If prostate gland removal is required it can be by Robot-assisted radical prostatectomy which is better than the usual cut and stitch. If needed, travel to a hospital having it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Why on earth is this information no kept private.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Really JT. Put me off my coffee.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

I get PSA done every year. So far, so good.

The test does produce false positives, so maybe the doctors want to monitor the situation for verification before resorting to intrusive methods.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

And, in agreement with several other commenters here, can't the man, even as Emperor, have some personal privacy regarding his intimate concerns? As Wontond said, "At most just mention he's undergoing a routine medical procedure." Public announcements of what seem private issues does not seem as 'respectful' as 'respect for the Emperor' would suggest as 'proper'. Albeit, not MY emperor, even so...

2 ( +6 / -4 )

"Prostate cancer is a slow-growing cancer and, more often, it is confined to the prostate gland, requiring minimal or no treatment. In some cases, it can take up to eight years to spread from the prostate to other parts of the body (metastasis), typically the bones."

The PSA test is a blood test to help detect prostate cancer. But it's not perfect and will not find all prostate cancers. This will be the first test followed by MRI and CT scans. Ultrasound.

A biopsy is a procedure that can be used to diagnose prostate cancer. Requires a 24 hour hospital stay.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I think it is very good the info on his father's prostate cancer is public knowledge and now the emperor having an MRI brings it to public discussion and helps those suffering from prostate cancer.

Info would not be released without his pemission.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

agree with many posters here.

this article was unnecessary and invasive

2 ( +8 / -6 )

New Test

Researchers have found that a new urine test is extremely accurate at detecting aggressive prostate cancer with few false negatives.

ExoGrail urine test by combining two biomarker sources - measurements of a protein-marker called EN2 and the levels of gene expression of 10 genes related to prostate cancer risk. It builds on previously developed tests called PUR and ExoMeth.

One urine test, EPI, is done using a fresh catch urine specimen. This test can help predict clinically significant prostate cancer in men who have not yet had a biopsy.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I had an MRI last week. Because of my size I had to go to one three prefectures away. I took my doctor 5 minutes to make a call, and day for recommendation letter and my confirmation. I could have in three days.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Interesting that so many posters think the media should not mention 'prostate', like it's too personal, perhaps a dirty word instead of just a gland all males have. Had it been any other gland would that have been OK to say. I agree with the poster who said the Emperor and his handlers probably approved release of this information. Many of the emperor's staunchest supporters are older males, i.e the population that should be aware they too, have a prostate gland, and should have checkups, sometimes requiring a blood draw, perhaps a urine test, thanks @Wallace.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

too much information!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )


"the Imperial Household Agency (IHA) said in a statement on Monday."

I have been through the wringer and survived.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

In this article, I learned what the MRI acronym stands for.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why are they telling us this? It’s private and personal, we do not need to know.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Prostate cancer is a scary stressful experience.

3 ( +4 / -1 )


"the Imperial Household Agency (IHA) said in a statement on Monday."

I have been through the Ringer and survived.

Pun intended?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Talk about intrusive; when Akihito was having prostate tests, I was working for a media company - and we did a small article on it. One of the editors came rushing over - "Do we have his PSA numbers? We have to have his PSA numbers!" and got quite exercised over it. We figured, given his age, it was hitting a bit close to home.

The MRI wait could be anything. Probably it's not anything serious but he might be putting it off due to scheduling concerns, "just in case" something more major needs doing - the way ordinary folks might do as well. As for the announcement, yes it does seem intrusive - but again, publicizing these tests often has the effect of prompting more ordinary people to get them. Most prostate cancer is nothing much, but the bad version can be quite nasty and life-threatening.

5 ( +5 / -0 )


Most prostate cancer is nothing much, but the bad version can be quite nasty and life-threatening.

All prostate cancer is life-threatening and one in four men will die.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Doesn't seem like there's any reason for concern. Just a regular check, but because he's the Emperor he gets an MRI instead of a finger I guess? Agree with many, this doesn't need to be news.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Be a MAN !!!

Take the finger like everyone else !

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The procedure in Japan is PSA tests, MRI, CT, Ultrasound, and biopsy. I never had a rectal prostate test.

The important part of the article is prostate cancer, not so much the emperor.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The test does produce false positives, so maybe the doctors want to monitor the situation for verification before resorting to intrusive methods.

An MRI is hardly an "intrusive method" and can be done in 30 minutes to an hour, at most!

There is ZERO need for him to have to wait for a month to have one done! A man in his position, and in the literal care of the state, could have had it done, in the time it took someone to translate and post the article here!

5 ( +6 / -1 )


All prostate cancer is life-threatening and one in four men will die.

Actually that is not the case.

Using the Gleason cancer ranking system, a score of 6 (3 + 3) will almost never ever metastasize. Cases would be 1 in 100,000s. Harvard Med researched this well a few years back.

Over the years many invasive procedures and needless surgery with high risks have been carried out on patients with low Gleason scores. Recently medical opinion is changing re this.

And I think the only reason the MRI is scheduled for next month is because, while he has an elevated PSA, the actual level is probably still low - ie less than 2-3.

All PSA changes should be investigated, but if the Emperor's reading was higher than 4 or 5, he would have had an MRI the same or next day.

Just precautionary.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Ummm, hows about a bit of privacy for the man ?

Really dont see how this is "news" that needs to be told.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

If they really had to release this "news", the PR missed a massive opportunity to say the emperor wishes to raise Cancer awareness and mens health issues by getting a test himself and urging men in at risk demographies to get tested if they need. What a waste.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It would be nice if the Emperor had used the opportunity to educate and encourage the public to get tested past a certain age. No, it's not a fun test, but it's over pretty quickly and in conjunction with a blood test, can make it an eminently treatable disease.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

All prostate cancer has the potential to become life-threatening and it is impossible to say from the outset which person will have life-threatening cancer.

Discovering it early greatly increases the chances of beating it. But unfortunately, you can have it for years before discovering it.

By the time my cancer was discovered it was 100%. But it was only in the prostate and had not spread. It was removed on the advice of my medical team. Along with four lymph nodes.

Cancer can still return and requires regular testing every three months. There is a small increase in my PSA.

Every person with prostate cancer needs to find the best team and follow their advice. It should never be treated lightly.

Prostate cancer is the second most deadly for men.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Leave the emperor alone. The public doesn’t need to see this. What’s gotten into Japan Today, lately?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )


Thanks for your concerning posts. Cancer is never to be taken lightly - ever.

My post concerning prostate cancer was not to disregard your comments or awareness, but just to factually state that now it is generally considered that there is no evidence of Gleason 6 cancer metastasizing.

Cases where more dangerous levels of cancer have occurred after a Gleason 6 score, have been found not to have developed from the original find, but to actually come from another separately developing cancer.

Slowly this is becoming accepted by the medical community in Japan - slowly .

Medical institutions in European and other advanced nations have implemented the process of Active Surveillance (watchful waiting) esp in the cases of Gleason 6, because they now know the potential to be life threatening is practically nil.

My urologist 10 years ago wanted to take out my prostrate after a Gleason 6 score. I researched and said the risks of the surgery may far outweigh any benefits. He now agrees with the concept of AS.

The Prostate Cancer Research Institute has many interesting videos. Here's a very short one.


0 ( +1 / -1 )

No doubt he doesn't mind sharing this info with the public because it may encourage some other men in his age group to also have an MRI check for prostate cancer. He wants to set a good example so good on him.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Health is a very personal matter. Why should a very important personage's

health 'merits' to become 'news' in a newspaper that is read by the world?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Nice to know he doesn't get the finger, like most of us do.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Why is this in the news? His medical tests and results should be kept private, just like anyone else.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I reckon his majesty is too special for the more common way doctors check a man's prostate, a gloved digit up his nethers.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Emperor is setting a good example for Japan and the Japanophiles who want to keep medical screenings a "private affair" by showing that it is okay to go screen for prostate issues. I find it weird knowing every man is going to develop prostate issues after 50 to see comments about his "privacy" when this is a serious issue, especially to Japanese men.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My initial reaction was "Jeez, give him some privacy", but then I remembered the throngs of men who will not actively go out to have medical exams and might just remember to do so when they see news like this.

Yeah it's not special news, but it is a good reminder to go get your health checked out. At least that's something you can still do in Japan - there are a lot of nations where the health systems are crumbling right now and it isn't possible to do regular checkups like this easily anymore. Looking at you Canada.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I was fortunate to live in a country which provides advanced medical techniques at affordable costs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Take good care your highness. You have many responsibilities to the country ahead of you.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

My question is, why so long to have it, if previous results were found to be 'somewhat concerning?' It doesn't make sense in my mind

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why is this information necessary? I Googled no intrusion for me, thank very much

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why is this information necessary?

Wherever did you get the idea that news being deemed a necessity would ever have any bearing on whether/why a given story is posted?

It's posted because the people who own the site know it will get engagement, thereby boosting advertising revenue.

So the more people who comment on it, and the more people who reply to those people, the financial incentive there is for them to post more stories exactly like this one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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