A recent survey has shown that there are far more cases of prostatic enlargement and Prostate cancer in Nigeria than imagined. This should be of serious concern to every Nigerian.
Earlier, we reported that in 1999 approximately 334,888 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States of America had caused the death of 41,000 people.
According WHO statistics, more than 100,000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer annually and about 80,000 people lose their lives to the disease. Thus, an average of 240 Nigerians (or 10 Nigerians every hour} die of cancer every day.
The Nigerian cancer death ratio is one of the worst in the world.
In December 2013 the United Kingdom update on prostate cancer gave the following alarming facts about prostate cancer: Every hour one man dies from prostate cancer, which makes it more than 10,000 deaths every year.
Over 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year – that is more than 100 men diagnosed every day.
It is also estimated that by 2030, prostate cancer will be the most common cancer. This means that one in eight men will get prostate cancer.
In October 2015, it was reported that in the UK about one in eight men will develop it at some point in their lives, with older men and those with a family history of prostate cancer most at risk. In Nigeria every now and then you hear of someone who just died of prostate cancer
This disease occurs most frequently in elderly men of 72 years and above. Although we are not keeping statistics for the number of new cases and deaths in Nigeria for this preventable disease, the American example is relevant for us here because there are significant racial differences that are negative for the African male. For example, for the African American male aged between 50 and 54 years, the incidence of prostate cancer is twice as high as the Caucasian American and it is one third higher for the African American of all ages.
For all Asian men, the incidence of this type of cancer is relatively low. It is not known what causes this racial difference, but genetics must surely play a part. Diet is another factor that cannot be ruled out as African American soul food closely mimics many Nigerian diets of pork, beans and greens cooked with plenty of oil and fat. This is, therefore, a Black Man’s disease that Nigerian men should be concerned about.
The World Health Organisation continues to call to more interest on prostate diseases. Over 8.8 million cancer deaths are recorded globally yearly, out of which an estimated 80,000 are Nigerian.
WHO has called on specialists to pay special attention to early diagnosis of cancer, because most oncological diseases are curable, if identified early.
Beyond early diagnosis, there must also be prevention. The number one factor that is necessary for the prevention of the disease is the use of orthomolecular supplements, starting with calcium, Zinc, Magnesium, Lycopene and more.
The prostate gland is a walnut sized organ located under the bladder, surrounding the urinary tract of men. It secretes a fluid that forms part of the seminal fluid, which is part of the semen produced at ejaculation after intercourse.
Prostate cancer is primarily a disease of the aged. So as men age they should take note of the following symptoms and if they have them, they should definitely pay a visit to a doctor:
Slow urination – When the last few drops do not expel easily, you should raise the alarm. Let the doctor check you out if you notice any change in urination as described below:
Constant urge to urinate, known as Progressive Urinary Frequency.
The constant urge to urinate and empty bladder is called Urgency Nocturia, which is passing urine in the night.
Difficulty in passing urine
Reduced force of urination
Reduced projectile pressure of urine (ejaculatory pressure)
Blood in the urine
Factors that cause the prostate gland to enlarge and become cancerous
Aging, stress, chemical toxins that may be from the use of chemical products like dye, polluted water, and contaminated food, especially with heavy metals, genetics and infection have been identified as some of the factors that can lead to the enlargement of the prostate gland.
Hormonal changes associated with aging, such as decreased production of the male testosterone, prolactin and stress related hormones, will increase with age. A high prolactin level in the blood will lead to an increase in the uptake of testosterone in the prostate gland, which will in turn result in the production of another male hormone called Di-Hydro-testoterone.
High levels of DHT in the prostate gland will enlarge the prostrate. A stressful lifestyle also does not help the prostrate. This will usually cause an increase in the level of circulating prolactin hormone. The net result is elevated DHT and subsequent prostate enlargement.
Prostate cancer is highly related to genetic factors. If one of the families has prostate cancer, it is highly likely that other male members of the family will also have it.
With our highly chemicalised society, we spray pesticides to kill all sorts of insects in our homes so as to protect us from diseases and on our farmland to protect the crops from plant-destroying diseases and insects. We eat food that contains the chemical toxin, polychlorinated hydrocarbon, which accumulates in organs like the adrenals, the liver and the prostrate, which then become diseased.
The chemical toxins also exist in some food products, such as fruits and vegetables exposed to such pesticides, as well as large fish and stock fish from polluted fish farms.
Infections, especially sexually transmitted diseases affecting the prostate gland are another major factor that can lead to prostate cancer. Therefore, repeated infections from sexually transmitted diseases, apart from narrowing the urethral passage and reducing sperm count may lead to prostate enlargement.