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ideas have consequences

Friday, 13 August 2010 20:39

Prostate Cancer

Written by Dr. G. Stanley O'koye
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Urgent Need to Curb Prostate Cancer Epidemic among Black Men

Even though tremendous progress has been made over the years in the healthcare sector, across the globe, many countries today continue to lag behind when it comes to early detection and treatment of life threatening diseases such as cancer. A good case in point is the rising number of Prostate Cancer cases and the resulting deaths among Black Men in West Africa, Caribbean, United States and United Kingdom.

Micrograph of prostatic adenocarcinoma, conven...

Image via Wikipedia

What is even more alarming is that African American men have a 60% greater chance of developing cancer of the prostate gland as compared to their white counterparts. More than 14 million Nigerian men die of prostate cancer in the age group of 45-50 and above. This high Morbidity & Mortality rate is definitely a cause for great concern, considering the fact that, if detected early, Prostate Cancer can be successfully cured. Often times, the cancer is detected at a much later stage, making it impossible for curative care and treatment to be effective.

This is why, it is imperative for men of African descent to be aware of the risks they face and the importance of getting themselves screened regularly for cancer of the prostate, by the time they reach the age of 45.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1 million, new cancer cases may be diagnosed each year in Africa by 2020 and many of these may be Prostate cancer cases.

 

Cases, Prevalence, & Mortality of Prostate Cancer

Western Africa

Cases

Prevalence
(1 Year)

Prevalence
(5 Years)

Mortality

Benin

255

203

677

210

Burkina Faso

305

229

741

261

Cape Verde

14

12

37

13

Cote d'Ivoire

847

654

2,119

706

The Gambia

14

11

39

13

Ghana

921

734

2,451

758

Guinea-Bissau

61

48

159

49

Guinea

168

134

447

138

Liberia

99

79

265

84

 

 

Mali

204

155

504

174

Mauritania

117

93

310

96

Niger

176

133

429

149

Nigeria

6,236

4,932

16,237

5,098

Senegal

131

101

341

112

Sierra Leone

197

158

528

161

Togo

200

159

534

165

Region Total

9,947

7,835

25,818

8,189

 

 

 

Some of the main reasons why such cases have been steadily growing in Africa

Excessive poverty

Insufficient resources

Lack of basic infrastructure & amenities

Lack of information, and proper prostate cancer awareness

Lack of effective screening & treatment programs

Social, and cultural isolation

Over the years, several scientists and doctors have devoted themselves to researching the causes for such high risk of prostate cancer among African American men. Doctors have been studying the family & medical history of several African American families to check the prevalence of prostate cancer from generation to generation. The research and tests have revealed many facts, based on which various theories have been developed such as -

Crucial differences can be seen in the prostate of African American men

A higher level of androgen receptor proteins is present in the prostates of men with African descent

A genetic mutation has been identified that raises the chances of cancer of the prostate.  It is hoped that united efforts to spread awareness, arrange effective screening and provide cure, across countries will help to save many African Americans from the danger of Prostate Cancer. For more information see

CDC Features - Prostate Cancer (http://www.cdc.gov/features/prostatecancer/)

G. Stanley Okoye, M.D., Ph.D. , Chief Medical Correspondent, Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center (Afripol) and St. Jude Medical Missions ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).

 

 

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Last modified on Monday, 16 August 2010 16:57

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