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

Speaking on the sidelines of prostate cancer awareness month on Wednesday, a team of medical experts under the auspices of ‘Cancer of the Prostate Trans-Atlantic Consortium, Federal Medical Center, Lokoja,’ said that prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death for men in Nigeria.

The team led by a consultant Surgeon with FMC, 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 center Lokoja. That is supposed to be something that will feed up to the central cancer registry in the Federal Ministry of Health, we cannot feed in data without adequate diagnosis.

“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 much reduce death rate as a result of prostate cancer in Nigeria” he added.

According to him, the aim of the awareness programme is to prevent the advent of 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 of reducing the death rate in Nigeria caused by prostate cancer.

A Consultant Urologist, FMC, Lokoja, Dr Ayodeji Ogunmola said Cancer of the Prostate Trans-Atlantic consortium, has the mandate to improve the disparity in prostate cancer in men.

According to him, there is no specific cause of prostate cancer, adding that 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 generally littered society especially in a 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 advanced stage and there is not much that can be offered in terms of services, things get worsen.

“So most patients tend to believe that it is a death sentence, but it 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, FMC, 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 emphasize awareness and screen early diagnosis and treatment,” he added.

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


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