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Lingam ‘won’t thwart cancer’

Friday, August 20, 2010

By Princess Dawn Felicitas

THAT lingam massage offers therapeutic benefits and can prevent prostate cancer is the most common
argument its clients use in defending this service.

But trained medical professionals say otherwise.

In random interviews yesterday, no Cebu City councilor committed to sponsor an ordinance banning or
regulating lingam services. A draft will trigger another round of public hearings on the controversial

Speaking before the Cebu City Council yesterday, Dr. Jocelyn Abellana, a medical specialist from the
Department of Health (DOH) 7, said lingam massage cannot prevent prostate cancer.

“Definitely, it has no role in the prevention of prostatic cancer. Massage like this certainly will not help
at all,” she said.

According to Abellana, the only way to prevent prostate cancer is through early detection. She said men
should submit themselves to a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test and do a digital rectal exam

However, Abellana said lingam massage can be an “alternative modality” in the treatment of
impotencies and erectile dysfunction, but she clarified it should not be for “the general population’s

Dr. Lohindren Adorable, chairman of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine of the Vicente Sotto
Memorial Medical Cancer (VSMMC), also said they don’t prescribe lingam massage as a preventive
measure for prostate cancer.

Adorable, who also appeared before the council yesterday, is the dean of the Department of Physical
Therapy of Southwestern University (SWU). He said they can prescribe prostatic massage, instead of
lingam massage, in addressing impotency.

“Prostatic massage is not done by massaging the shaft of the penis or the testes,” Adorable said.

Adorable also emphasized prostatic massage is done in a hospital setting, by physical therapists, and
only on those with an indication of impotence or erectile dysfunction.

“We don’t prescribe medication without indication,” he said.

After the doctors discussed whether lingam massage has therapeutic effects or not, Vice Mayor Joy
Augustus Young said it will now be up to the city councilors if they will file an ordinance either
banning or regulating the operation of lingam spas.

Young had earlier said that, subject to conditions City Hall will set, lingam massage parlors closed or
shunned by other cities may operate in Cebu City.
If a draft ordinance is filed, more public hearings will be conducted and more sectors will be invited to
hear the sentiments of the public.

The Cebu Provincial Board is already considering two proposals, one to regulate and one to ban the
lingam massage service.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 21, 2010.