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Poor awareness lack of data on prostate cancer fueling death rates – Medical experts


Medical Experts in Kogi State have lamented over the non-availability of data for people suffering from prostate cancer in Nigeria.

Speaking on the sideline of prostate cancer awareness month on Wednesday, a team of medical experts under the auspice of ‘Cancer of the Prostate Trans-Atlantic Consortium, (CAPTC) Federal Medical Center, (FMC) Lokoja’ submitted that, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death for men in Nigeria.

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The team lead of CAPTC, a consultant Surgeon with Federal Medical Center, Lokoja, Dr Taiwo Jones Olaoluwa said it is very worrisome that there are no available statistics for people suffering from prostate cancer despite being one of the leading causes of death for Men in Nigeria.

“We actually run a cancer registry here at the Federal Medical Centre Lokoja. That is supposed to be something that will feed up to the central cancer registry in the Federal Ministry of Health but a number of patients that present to the hospital are the only ones we have. We cannot feed in data without adequate diagnoses.

“So if a patient dies in a private hospital from suspected cancer of the prostate, without you confirming it, you can’t label such. The only data we have is the one we are able to diagnose in FMC. And that is a big problem which should be looked into if we must reduce the death rate as a result of prostate cancer in Nigeria” he added.

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He said the aim of the awareness programme is to prevent prostate cancer which he termed a silent killer disease for men between the ages of 50 and above.

The surgeon explained that early detection and testing remain the best way to reduce the death rate in Nigeria caused by prostate cancer.

A Consultant Urologist, Federal Medical Center Lokoja, Dr Ayodeji Ogunmola said Cancer of the Prostate Trans-Atlantic consortium, (CAPTC) has the mandate to improve the disparity in prostate cancer in Men.

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He said there is no specific cause of prostate cancer adding that the government at all levels should invest in cancer research to reduce the rate of death attributed to the disease.

His words “Prevention, they say is always better than cure. Prostate cancer is generally littered in society especially in third-world countries like Nigeria, because of inadequate investment and lack of adequate education for people to know that this disease is in existence.

“A lot of people tend to arrogate this disease to arrows sent by the evil people in their community, instead of going for periodic screening so that you can pick it early and commence adequate treatment. By the time we began to see patients who are already in the advanced stage and there is not much that can be offered in terms of services, things get worse.

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“So most patients tend to believe that it is a death sentence. But is not actually so. The way is to invest in cancer research, pick it early and be able to institute adequate treatment that will lead to elongation of life”.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chief Medical Director, Federal Medical Center, Lokoja Dr Olatunde Alabi said the management of FMC is committed to reducing prostate cancer in Nigeria.

“Prostate cancer is one of the cancers that are prevalent in this environment. The government has done enough on its awareness programme. It is something that is preventable if you are screened earlier and take the appropriate step. Our plans now are to emphasise awareness, screening early, diagnosis and treatment” he added.

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Prostate cancer is a cell abnormality that begins in the gland cells of the prostate found only in males.

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