Welcome to the Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant Regional Lead Series. Over the next several months we will be introducing the Regional Leads who work behind the scenes for the Regional Cancer Program. This month we would like to introduce Dr. Dustin Costescu.
What is your Regional Role?
I have been the Regional Cervical Screening and Colposcopy Lead since 2014
What is your day job?
I’m an Obstetrician-Gynaecologist at McMaster University/Hamilton Health Sciences. I have a bit of an eccentric practice, addressing a wide variety of unmet needs, including colposcopy, sexual health, complex family planning, and Transgender Care.
Cancer Screening is important because:
It is a no-brainer. Cervical cancer screening has taken cervix cancer from a lead cause of cancer in countries where screening does not exist down to #12 (and falling) in countries where it does. For many young people, cervical cancer screening not only saves lives, but also saves fertility, and saves invasive cancer therapies. Cervical cancer also gives people reassurance about their bodies, which many people feel they do not know enough about.
What is one piece of advice you would provide?
Cervical cancer screening is as important as ever, even though it doesn’t happen on an annual basis. In addition to triennial screening, I want to remind physicians to not forget to look at the cervix if a patient has warning signs of cervix cancer: pelvic pain, abnormal bleeding (especially postcoital bleeding), and painful intercourse. Actually look, imaging cannot detect precancer and cancer that the eye can easily see.
Do you have a positive thought to share?
One of the more satisfying parts of my job is helping people navigate difficult Paps or anxiety with medical examinations. When patients have a positive interaction with the healthcare system, they feel better about themselves in other domains, and it’s great to see people succeed!
What do you do to decompress?
Currently I am playing Animal Crossing with my family – but my kids are way ahead of me in the game!
What’s your favourite go to meal?
While not technically a meal, you will always find a bag of candy from the hospital cafeteria in my desk…in case of an emergency or when I’m being told I’m grumpy!
Social Media information:
You can hear a lot more about what I have to say (you were warned) on Twitter – @BirthControlDoc