. The seminal vesicle and the urethra pass through the prostate gland. The seminal vesicle makes most of the fluid for semen whereas the urethra carries urine out of the body through the penis. These tubes go through the center of the prostate gland. One of the worst conditions that would affect a male in his old age or in his early 40’s is Prostate Cancer.
‘Cancer is not restricted to a particular part of the body. It can start and spread to other areas of the body. The cancer cells can begin anywhere in the body and that makes it dangerous. ‘Cancer cells can be benign or malignant’. Says Prof. Wiredu.
He added that prostate cancer like any other cancer begins when cells in the prostate gland start to grow uncontrollably as a result put pressure on very important channels in the male reproductive organ. Prostate cancer is asymptomatic. Prostate cancers grow slowly but some can grow very fast. Some autopsy studies have shown that many older men who died of other causes also had prostate cancer that never affected them during their lives. In most cases neither they nor their doctors knew about it until later sometimes too late. However, prostate cancer is considered to grow very slowly and may not cause symptoms or problems for years.
Kwaku is old and he had no knowledge about the cancer disease. “I was shocked when I was told I had prostate cancer at the Premier Specialist Clinic. I knew nothing about this disease. It was as if I was hit by a thunder bolt” Says Kwaku.
Often than not, these cases are diagnosed at a later stage of the disease making treatment difficult.. Even when prostate cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it often can be managed, allowing men with advanced prostate cancer to live with good health and quality of life for several years. However, if the cancer cannot be well controlled with existing treatments, it can cause pain, fatigue, and sometimes, death.
The study published by Parkin (2003) show that the prevalence of cancer in Ghana is common after hepatocellular carcinoma and skin cancer. The case is however different in the United States and Europe as it is the most common type of cancer and the second most leading cause of death. In Ghana 1000 Ghanaian men are diagnosed each year of this terrible disease. Other findings by Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, reveal that Ghana has exceeded the global prostate limits. In addition, Ghana has recorded 100000 as against 170 worldwide suggesting a prevalence of 200 men out of every 100000. According to the Ghana Health Service, the risk of getting prostate cancer is high in the youthful ages of every male. Even though Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death among men in Ghana that is its high morbidity and mortality, some researches has shown that advancing age, race, and family history could be risk factors therefore researchers from the GHS has advised the youth to attend to hospitals for check-ups before it becomes too late. “I take my father for check-up on his prostate because I heard it’s a terrible disease and I do not want my father to go through that” Says Mavis of the Ghana Commercial Bank
Prostate cancer treatment in Ghana is very expensive and most unfortunate individual spend so much to treat this. “Prostate cancer is expensive. I spent my retirement benefit in treating this disease. I do not take of myself and my family because of this. It is really draining me financially.” Says Mr. Agbogah, a pensioner at Korle Bu.
Clinicians prefer to perform surgery to remove the cancerous cells lowering the risk of complications and side effects from the surgery. One can resort to radiation therapy, Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy and some nutritional life changes but most importantly one should resort to the advice of a medical practitioner before doing anything to complicate things.
In Ghana, there is a limited amount of knowledge in prostate cancer. Most people are not made aware of this until they are old. Because of its expensive treatment, most Ghanaian men resort to herbal treatment which sometimes complicate issues that lead to death.