Dr Patrick Ezie, an Abuja-based medical practitioner has advised men who are 40 years and above to go for prostate examination to avoid developing prostate enlargement which could lead to prostate cancer.
Ezie, who is also the Publicity Secretary, Nigerian Medical Association, FCT chapter, gave the advice in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday.
He said that the men of over 40 were prone to diseases of the prostate which could be prostate enlargement also known as a Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia or prostate cancer.
“The incidence of prostate enlargement is about 25 per cent in men from ages 40 and 60, and 40 per cent of men above 60 have peak incidence of prostate cancer seen in the 8th decade of life.
‘’The older a man becomes, the increase in the risk of prostate cancer.”
According to him, urinary complaints which lead to the development of the disease include frequency urination, especially at night, sudden urge and immediate need to urinate.
“Others are inability to control passage of urine, straining to urinate, and hesitation in urinating, urine flow that starts and stops without completion of urination, urination that ends in dribbling.
“In severe or advanced disease, the following symptoms may be noticed; extreme weight loss associated with the spread of the cancer, tenderness in the bones, back pain among others,’’ he said.
Ezie said that though the primary risk factor for the development of prostate cancer was aging, genetic and familial inheritance, diets and lifestyle also played role in the development of the disease.
The doctor, who also traced environmental and occupational factors to the development of the disease, said scientists showed a link between certain chromosomes transmitted from parents to their children carrying the genes for prostate cancer.
‘’If you observe that your parents had urinary problems before their demise but didn’t have the benefit of doctor’s review, have a regular prostate examination with your physician once you’re above 40,’’ he said.
He called on the Federal Government expand the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) scheme to provide care for debilitating illnesses such as cancers and reduce premiums to enable average Nigerian access packages.
Ezie also called for policy to subside cost of care in cancer management such as cost of cytotoxic drugs, radiotherapy, funding cancer research and development and sustainability of National Cancer Centres.
He further advocated development of international partnerships with reputable international institutions involved in cancer treatment and researches to ensure training and infrastructural development of cancer programmes.
“Through the Ministry of the Health, government can organise sensitisation programmes to sensitise men above 40 years on the need for regular prostate check-up,’’ he said..