An extensive research on prostate cancer released on Wednesday by Ghana?s biggest men?s health charity, Men?s Health Foundation has revealed that 1 in 5 Ghanaian men will suffer from prostate cancer in their lifetime.
The research work was corroborated at the at the Men?s Clinic and Prostate Research Lab in Dodowa and aimed at highlighting the prevalence of the disease in men in the country on the margins of World Cancer Day which is commemorated globally on February 4.
According to the research leader, Dr. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu, a registered Naturopathic oncologist who studied the MSc program in Prostate cancer ?Sheffield Hallam University, UK and specialized in prostate cancer, ?This statistic is a wake-up call to Ghanaian men about the exclusive danger they face ? and we?re warning them to act on it.?
?With every fifth Ghanaian man or boy in Ghana predestined to get this potentially fatal disease at some time, it?s vital that everything possible is done to identify and arrest aggressive cancers early? he said.
The research, conducted over several years identified lack of governmental commitment towards prostate cancer issues as well as Ghanaians? late presentation of disease conditions at hospitals as a major challenge to the fight against the disease.
It adds that, over reliance on herbal medicines and a general lack of awareness on the disease among Ghanaians as other factors regressing the fight against the disease.
The research elicited information on the difference of the disease in black men and and white men as well as the dangers of total dependence on traditional and herbal medicine for treatment of the disease.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and over 1,000 men are diagnosed with the disease every year in Ghana with more than 800 dieing from it annually.
Currently, several hundreds of men living with the disease yet are unaware.
About 47 percent of men with prostate cancer will experience no warning signs but when symptoms occur, they include a weak urine flow, frequent urination, ?left-over syndrome after urination. Other symptoms include pains and difficulty in passing urine as well as dribbling of urine.
According to Dr. Nyarkotey, the UK has a prostate cancer policy for men considering prostate cancer screening dubbed the prostate cancer risk management program. Men aged over 50 were entitled to a free NHS prostate cancer test even if they had no symptom. Black men start screening from 45 years in the UK.
He has therefore among the several propositions made by foundation called on the government to initiate a policy on prostate cancer screening, noting that although the PSA test is not the best marker it is the best available tool that could save the lives of Ghanaian men given the right policy.
The charity is of the view that a free prostate cancer screening for men 40years and above under the NHIS will save lots of lives.
Other propositions made include, rolling out prostate cancer programs by the Traditional and alternative medicine practice council to educate practitioners and emphasize the need for quick referral and collaboration with the experts to reduce the mortality rate.
The charity also called on the council to educate traditional practitioners on advertisement claims of treatment cure for prostate cancer noting that good physicians do not promise cure as well as an appeal to the public to be proactive about their health and be vigilant in their choice of treatment centres especially as cancer was of a lifelong journey.
?With so many lives at risk in Ghana, we all have to work together to ensure that Ghanaian men wise up to the issue and those affected seek and receive appropriate healthcare.? Dr. Obu said.
Men?s Health Foundation Ghana says it is leading the change in prostate cancer treatment in Ghana because it believes men deserve better treatment for the disease
Story by Men?s Health Foundation Ghana