Vice president of the Cancer Support Network of Ghana, Mr Eric Odei Brobbey, has advised men above 40 years of age to take prostate cancer screening seriously as the disease usually showed symptoms after it had advanced.
“Prostate cancer is such that when symptoms start showing, then it means the disease has already advanced that is why we encourage regular screening especially if you are above 40 years or have a strong family history of any type of cancer.
Prostate cancer is curable and early detection saves lives so let us ensure we make screening a priority,” he said.
Mr Brobbey, who was speaking to the Ghanaian Times yesterday, stated that annually, about 219,000 people were diagnosed with prostate cancer in Ghana, adding that there was the need for an increase in awareness creation to salvage the situation.
He also expressed worry about cancer patients who visited unapproved treatment centres, especially herbal facilities for solutions to their ailments, saying such practice only compounded the problem.
He said unapproved cancer treatment was a waste of time and money and encouraged sufferers of the disease to follow approved treatment plans prescribed by medical professionals.
Touching on the high cost of cancer treatment in the country, Mr Brobbey indicated that many prostate cancer patients defaulted treatment due to financial restraints and called on the government to, at least, subsidise the cost of treatment for the disease, considering the number of annual diagnosis.
“Like every other cancer, prostate cancer treatment is very expensive and this is one of the reasons why some people default treatment while others do not even get the money to start.
“Chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy come at very high costs so if there can be some form of support from government and corporate institutions, many lives will be saved and we will not keep losing men in their productive age to prostate cancer like is happening currently,” he said.
He, however, commended the government for subsidising treatment of breast cancer in the country, saying the move had saved the lives of thousands of Ghanaians and hoped that the same intervention would be directed at prostate cancer treatment.
The Cancer Support Network of Ghana, he said also played various roles in supporting cancer patients across the country, assuring that his outfit would keep providing financial and psychological support to sufferers of the disease.
In furtherance, Mr Brobbey reiterated that cancer was a curable disease, especially when detected early, so members of the public should not wait until it was too late before going for medical checkups.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU
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