Prostate
The blue ribbon signifies prostate cancer awareness.

Alarm Raised Over Absence of Prostate Cancer Patients’ Data

Medical experts from Kogi State have bemoaned the non-availability of data for people who are suffering from prostate cancer in Nigeria.

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

The team lead of CAPTC site Lokoja, a consultant Surgeon with Federal Medical Center, Lokoja, Dr. Taiwo Jones Olaoluwa said it was very worrisome that there was 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 center 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 is the only one we have. We cannot feed in data without adequate diagnosis.

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

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According to him, the aim of the awareness programme was to prevent the rise of prostate cancer which he termed a silent killer disease for men within the ages of 50 and above.

The surgeon explained that early detection and testing remains the best way of reducing 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.

According to him, there was no specific cause of prostate cancer, adding that government at all level should invest in cancer research to reduce the rate of death attributed to the disease.

“Prevention, they say is always better than cure. Prostate cancer is generally littered in the society especially in the third-world country 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 advance stage and there is no much that can be offered in terms of services, things get worsen.

“So most patients tend to believe that it is 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 was committed towards reducing prostate cancer in Nigeria.

“Prostate cancer is one of the cancer that is 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 is to emphasise awareness and screen early diagnosis and treatment.”

Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that begins in the gland cells of the prostate and can only be found in males.

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