Most men in Ghana are not aware that their prostate gland is their hallmark just like they
way the breast is also the woman?s pricest possession, a precious asset of great value, an organ
where the motherly and erotic congregate.
The other assails a small but precious organ near a man?s
bladder that produces the liquid in which the sperm swims and is carried-the prostate gland.
Demons called cancer-an abnormal growth of cells can invade it. Like some demons unleashed
from the hottest part of hell, the two killers-silent killer diseases are on the rampage, making a
mess of victim, sending many to their early grave if not detected early.
I also call prostate cancer a ?couple disease? because the illness and the treatment affect both the
man and the woman. Most prostate cancer isn?t caused by inherited cancer genes and most men
who get prostate cancer don?t have a family history of it. But sometimes prostate cancer can run
I view prostate cancer just like breast cancer in women. Most men who get prostate cancer; who
I have encounter with don?t have a family history of prostate cancer but rather their sisters died
of breast cancer. One case study is a 64year old man diagnosed with cancer of the prostate with
Gleason 5+4(how the cells appear under the microscope). The PSA at the stage of diagnosis was
578.50ng/ml and the scintigraphic finding is skeletal osteoblastic metastasis to the clavicle, ribs,
vertebrae and SI joint. Transrectal prostate ultrasound reveals prostate volume of 221.63gm. He
confirmed that his sister died of breast cancer and with no known family history of prostate
cancer. There are other notable examples of Ghanaian men diagnosed with prostate cancer but
with no family history of the disease but they have family history of breast or ovarian cancer.
So does family history of breast cancer also put you at risk of getting prostate cancer? Yes!
because the genes a similar. A family history of prostate cancer can also increase your risk of
breast cancer for women. This increased risk may be due to genetic factors (known and
unknown), shared lifestyle factors or other family traits. Family history of cancers goes beyond
more than genes; however, faulty genetic make up partly tells us that our fate lies hostage to
?Men with BRCA1 and 2 mutations have a higher risk of prostate cancer, and women with the
mutations have higher risks of breast and?ovarian cancer, researchers have found.
The institute of cancer research found a link between faulty genes called BRCA2 and aggressive
prostate cancer. Testing men to see if they have this BRCA2 gene could potentially be a way of
identifying whether men are likely to develop the aggressive form of prostate cancer.
When talking about family history, it’s important to consider both sides of your family. A history
of breast cancer in a close male relative (father, brother or uncle) increases your risk of breast
A history of prostate cancer in one or more first-degree relatives (father or brother) may also
increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer, especially if the prostate cancer was found at a young
Inherited gene mutations and risk of breast cancer
The breast cancer risk linked to family history may be due to inherited gene mutations or shared
lifestyle factors that increase risk. Families with a strong family history of breast cancer often
carry gene mutations. Such families may have more than one first-degree relative (mother, sister
or daughter) with breast cancer, a single female relative diagnosed at an early age or a male
relative with breast cancer. Family history of ovarian cancer may also be related to an inherited
Inherited gene mutations account for only five to 10 percent of all breast cancers diagnosed in
women in the U.S and it also applies to men diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Breast cancer & Preventive Mastectomy
You remember Angelina Jolie; the salt actress bilateral mastectomy drew my attention as the
cancer genes are similar. According to the salt actress she carries a ?faulty? gene, BRCA1, which
sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. ?My doctors estimated
that I had an 87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer, although the
risk is different in the case of each woman?
?Once I knew that this was my reality, I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as
much I could. I made a decision to have a?preventive double mastectomy. I started with the
breasts, as my risk of breast cancer is higher than my risk of ovarian cancer, and the surgery is
Ok so as realized that the cancer genes are similar women can have preventative mastectomy to
reduce their chances of getting the disease later in life ; can men also in the same family also
have a preventative prostatectomy to prevent prostate cancer? In your case as a man your
prostate gland is your powerhouse and taking off your prostate you are doom for life. No sex
anymore? But I don?t even think Ghanaian women will take off their breast to wade off breast
cancer. I call this the craziness of the medical prevention.
In hopes of avoiding future disease, some women at very high risk of developing?breast
cancer?elect to have both breasts surgically removed, a procedure called bilateral prophylactic
mastectomy or preventive mastectomy. The surgery aims to remove all breast tissue that
potentially could develop breast?cancer.?
Preventive breast cancer surgery also may be considered if a woman has already had breast
cancer and is therefore at increased risk for developing the disease again in either breast. A
preventive mastectomy might also be considered if the woman has the BRCA1 or BRCA2
genetic mutation that increases risk of breast cancer, a strong family history of breast cancer, or
atypical lobular hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS). Atypical lobular hyperplasia is a
condition in which there are irregular cells lining the milk lobes; lobular carcinoma in situ is a
noninvasive breast cancer.
Can a Prophylactic Mastectomy Prevent Breast Cancer?
A recent study suggests that prophylactic mastectomy may reduce the risk of breast cancer by up
to 100% if there is a strong family history of breast cancer or a BRCA genetic mutation.
However, risk reduction results vary widely for many reasons. In some studies, women had
prophylactic mastectomies for non-high risk reasons, such as pain, fibrocystic breast disease,
dense breast tissue, cancer?phobia, or a family history of breast cancer.
?Approximately 10% of women will develop breast cancer, even though their breast tissue has
been removed. But in most studies, patients did not develop breast cancer after prophylactic
mastectomy. However, many of these patients would not have been considered high risk for
Some experts have argued that even for high-risk women, prophylactic mastectomy is
inappropriate, because not all breast tissue can be removed during a surgical procedure. In
addition, the only group undergoing prophylactic mastectomy that had a survival advantage
(lived longer) were pre-menopausal women, with endocrine receptor-negative breast cancers. To
understand why, we need to know what comprises breast tissue and where cancer originates.
Is there a Preventative Prostatectomy to prevent prostate cancer?
After Angelina Jolie incidence a British man also with fears of getting prostate cancer; because
of the family connection to the BRCA genes also decided to take off the prostate. The articles
published in the?Sunday Times?and?Daily Mail? in 2013? which follows the news that Angelina
Jolie had preventative surgery for breast cancer ? stated this man was the first in the world to go
through such a procedure.
Strictly speaking, and although it ruins a good news story, this is not true stated Owen Sharp of
Prostate Cancer UK. This gentleman had early signs of malignancy in his biopsy results, so
wasn?t cancer free. He used the information that he carried the BRCA2 gene as a decision maker
to choose which treatment to have. The world is still to see a preventative prostatectomy, and
with the evidence as it stands, I hope it stays that way , Owen Sharp started!
He said that, there is currently little (if any) information or research on the effect of preventative
prostatectomy for prostate cancer and we don?t know enough about the clinical outcomes.
Removal of the prostate can lead to serious (and long term) side effects, including erectile
dysfunction and incontinence. Put simply, there?s no data whatsoever on whether carrying out
this surgery will improve survival rates or men?s quality of life. It?s also worth remembering that
many men develop prostate cancer because of other factors other than carrying the BRCA2 gene.
In fact, only five to 10 per cent of prostate cancers are thought to be strongly linked to inherited
Through all this discussion around preventative surgery, it?s easy for the good news to get lost:
identifying the link between the BRCA2 gene and aggressive prostate cancer is a great step
forward for men?s health. In the short term, we can offer men with this faulty gene genetic
counseling and frequently screen them for any sign of prostate cancer. In the long term, and with
further research, we could be in the position to tell aggressive from non-aggressive prostate
cancer in a simple and effective way. Now there?s a newsworthy story.
My Key Points:
1. If you are in a family with any of the history of breast or prostate cancer; the best option
is to change your lifestyle and your dietary habit once you know you have a family
2. Take action by screening for prostate or breast cancer.
3. Know your family tree both men and women
4. Breast and prostate cancer are parallel disease.
Dr. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu is a registered alternative medical practitioner who specializes in
prostate cancer – studied the Masters program in prostate cancer-Sheffield Hallam
University, UK. He is a PhD candidate in prostate cancer and alternative medicines, Indian
Board of Alternative Medicines Academy, Kolkata, India and the founder of Men?s Health
Foundation Ghana; De Men?s clinic and Prostate Research Lab in Dodowa, Akoto House.
Tel: 0541090045, 0500106570. E.mail:email@example.com.