Success Nwogu, Ilorin
A former Chief Medical Director of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Prof Sulyman Kuranga, has described prostate cancer as one of the leading causes of death among men worldwide.
Speaking during the 180th Inaugural Lecture of UNILORIN held on the main campus in Ilorin, capital of Kwara State on Tuesday, Kuranga noted that prostate cancer had been more prevalent among black African males than other men around the world.
The former CMD said the disease could be cured with early detection and prompt access to good medical facilities.
Urging the Federal Government to invest in prostatic healthcare development and research in the country, he identified aging, family history, race, obesity, sexually transmissible diseases, cigarette smoking, vasectomy, benign prostatic hyperplasia, among others, as some risk factors for prostate cancer.
Kuranga said, “Early detection of prostate cancer is the ultimate goal of any urologist so that the scourge and the menace of the disease can be reduced to the barest minimum.
“Government at all levels should organise and conduct a programme to promote awareness and early detection of prostate cancer as a matter of policy.
“This programme may include, but not limited, to the dissemination of information regarding the symptoms and signs of prostate cancer, the risk factors associated with it, the benefit of early detection, the treatment and consequences of delay in treatment.”
Kuranga blamed the inability of most patients to fund the treatment required for prostate cancer on the nature of the health financing system in the country.
He said that most patients present themselves late for treatment, thereby making a palliative option the only treatment for the physician.
He said, “The facilities for radiotherapy are limited to five teaching hospitals in Nigeria and there is no time whereby all the five are optimally functional at the same time. The National Assembly should enact a law that will allow the aged to access free medical treatment for the prostatic disease.
“In the developed world, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States of America, when one attains the age of 60 years, transport and medical services are obtained free-of-charge. The aged are put into consideration when laws are being formulated.”
He called for improvement in the financing of tertiary health institutions so that up-to-date equipment can be purchased to reduce medical tourism.
Kuranga also identified some challenges to the management of prostate cancer in Nigeria to include, inaccuracy of current staging methods due to lack of relevant equipment and tools for the diagnosis of the disease, lack of the culture of effective screening, inadequate manpower among others.
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