As the month of September is celebrated globally as prostate cancer awareness month, the Men’s Health Foundation Ghana, being the National Peak body of Prostate cancer in Ghana is using this month to make this passionate appeal to the government to consider recognizing the father’s day in Ghana as national prostate awareness day .
In the Year 2015, the Charity Presented a Proposal to the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama to consider the father’s day in Ghana as day to help raise awareness on the disease.
The Charity believes it will help strengthen the fight against the disease in the country and bring the disease to the national limelight.
The Men’s Health Foundation Ghana has a simple ambition – to stop men dying from prostate cancer. Through shifting the science over the next 10 years to focus on radical improvements in diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and support, we will stop prostate cancer being a killer.
Prostate Cancer is a story of both great heartbreak and great hope. The heartbreak is that each year more than 800 men will die of this disease and that prostate cancer is more prone to black men and 1 in 4 black men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime. Prostate Cancer is more aggressive in black men when diagnosed. However, if diagnosed early, the five-year survival rate is almost 100 percent. At ten years post diagnosis, 98 percent of men diagnosed early, remain alive.
Prostate cancer is an extremely complex disease—multiple subtypes of this cancer exist, some aggressive and lethal, others non-aggressive and non-life-threatening. The vast majority of prostate cancer occurs as an indolent, slow-growing form of the disease that poses little threat to men’s lifespans. Because one in 4 black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, it is important for men to learn about both non-aggressive, slow-growing forms of prostate cancer and aggressive forms of this disease through conversations with their doctors.
In addition, because there has been controversy in recent years over when men should be screened for prostate cancer, there is great need for all men to learn about prostate cancer screening methods, including the drawbacks and benefits to current screening tests. This is why we need National attention on the disease and father’s day recognition is the ideal in Ghana.
The Charity wants to remind His Excellency John Dramani Mahama that ignoring Prostate Cancer won’t beat it, but joining the fight will. We know when we talk to you, we’re already preaching to the converted, but we also know that only 2% of Ghanaian men could identify where the prostate gland is located and only 1% of Ghanaian men know what the prostate does.
This level of ignorance won’t help us stop a disease that already kills 800 men a year, a figure that, if we don’t all act, is set to soar to 8,000 by 2026.
By 2030, prostate cancer is set to be the most common cancer among men in the world, and if in 14 years time, 2% of men are still pointing to their shoulder or knee when asked where their prostate is, we won’t be winning the fight!
It’s time to stage an intervention, no matter how uncomfortable the subject matter. Prostate cancer is the controversial subject in the medical world today and affecting more black men and there is therefore the need for Physicians in the black communities to wake up, provide solutions, research and better services for patients including government.
We’re urging the nation Ghana to join the fight against prostate cancer by pressing on the government to come out with policy for men’s health and help in recognition of the father’s day as national Prostate Cancer day to help in awareness raising
We know that some men will do anything to avoid awkward subjects, but we also know that prostate cancer cannot be ignored. By shining a light on this serious issue with a bit of gentle humour, we hope more men will be aware of their own risk and join us in the fight to stop prostate cancer being a killer.
National Prostate Cancer day in Ghana will go a long way to help inform men about the disease. This project will also provide a better platform for the government to let the general public be aware of the effort the government is taking to help in raising awareness of the disease among men and for the first of its kind in the history of the country for a concerned government to tackle men’s health issue.
Increased awareness can help these men make informed choices about their health. While the exact causes of prostate cancer remain unknown, medical research has identified well-established risk factors with which men should be familiar, including age, family history, and race. If this is considered and given government backing during father’s day in the country, media houses, churches, corporate institutions et al will incorporate prostate cancer checks, expert talk, walks etc on the disease to help raise awareness on the disease.
Men’s Health Foundation Ghana and the government will use the occasion to, encourage all men, especially those at higher risk, to talk with their doctors about how prostate cancer could affect them.
The men’s charity continues to raise awareness, invest in future critical research to help better prevent this disease and treat it with fewer side effects, and to further our understanding of the disproportionate impact prostate cancer has on black men.
The charity based on our research also believed that Cancer is also caused by lack of government will power to fight the disease and it will provide the government the platform to tell the people of Ghana their plans in fighting against cancer in the country. In the UK, the government introduced the “Be Clear” on cancer program for black men who are 45years who are concerned about prostate cancer to help raise awareness and offer free prostate check for those concerned about the disease under the prostate cancer risk management program. The men’s charity believes Ghanaian men deserve better treatment for prostate cancer.
As part of our campaign and advocacy, we believe that the NHIS should incorporate free prostate checks for men 40years and above and men 35years who have family history of the disease once a year. We also believe that more options for quality, affordable health coverage should be available and new protections should be in place, expanding access to life-saving care for millions of Ghanaian men, including those impacted by prostate cancer. The NHIS should no longer deny men treatment for prostate cancer. However, men diagnosed with prostate cancer should be given the opportunity to make their informed decision on the type of treatment they find it right for them based on the stage of the cancer as the quality of treatment and care men received also depends on where men live.
Even as we continue the urgent work of improving care, too many lives will be disrupted and too many families will experience the pain of prostate cancer. But we must remain steadfast in our commitment to ease the burden of this disease, and every day we must continue to work toward a future free from cancer in all its forms.