Prostrate cancer second cause of death among Ghanaian men (Thursday, July 8, 2010, pg 46)

 Prostate cancer has been found to be the second leading cause of death among Ghanaian men between the ages of 50 and 74.

Prostate cancer is a cancer that develops in the prostate; a gland in the male reproductive system and tends to develop in men over 40 years. It is said to be most prevalent in black men.

According to a Urologist at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), Dr Matthew Y. Kyei, one out of every five Ghanaian men risks having the disease in their life time and, therefore, advised that men within the vulnerable age group should go for regular check-ups to ensure the early detection of its symptoms and treatment.

Dr Kyei made this known at a seminar organised in Accra by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to create awareness on the disease among personnel of the security services.

The programme, which formed part of the GHS’s monthly health promotion was attended by personnel of the Ghana Prisons Service, the Ghana  Police Service, Customs, Excise and Preventive Service and the Ghana Immigration Service.

Dr Kyei said available statistics indicated that five per cent of men who are aged 50 years and above, risked getting prostate cancer, whilst 10 per cent of men of 40 years and above with family history of the disease were also likely to contract it.

He said a research conducted in the Greater Accra  Region by a team of medical experts led by Dr E.K. Owiredu of the Pathology Department of the KBTH indicated that seven out of 100 men were at risk.

He said red meat, high fat and alcohol were some of the risk factors that could cause the disease.
According to him, symptoms of the disease included frequency in urination, interruption of the urinary stream and straining to urinate. He added that at the advanced stage, the disease had symptoms such as painful ejaculation, the presence of blood in the semen and backache.

He recommended the consumption of Vitamin C, fruits and vegetables and regular exercise as ways of reducing the risk of contracting the disease.

He said in the face of the increasing cases of the disease in the country, there was the need to designate a centre for the  diagnosis, treatment and research into the disease.

“The centre will also serve as an incentive to newly trained doctors to specialise in urology”, he said, and added that the facilities at Korle-Bu were woefully inadequate to cater satisfactorily for patients .

The Director of the GHS,  Dr Elias Sorie, in his remarks said the GHS was compiling a cancer register in the country aimed gathering information on cancer cases in the country.

He appealed to the public to allow post-mortem examination to be conducted on their dead relatives, and indicated that “post-mortems help us to determine the cause of particular diseases and deaths and what could be done to prevent remedy such situations.”

The Director-General of the Ghana Prisons Service, Mr Michael Kofi Bansah, who chaired the function, commended the GHS for the initiative and said it would go a long way to create the needed awareness of the disease among the personnel of the security services.

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