Forty percent of men aged about 40 years are living with prostate cancer and many are unaware of their status, an expert has said.
Head of the Department of Surgery at Braithwaite Memorial Specialist Hospital, Ovunda Omudu, disclosed this in a lecture on cancer, to officers and ratings of the Nigeria Navy Ship Pathfinder, in Port Harcourt, yesterday. Omudu, a urologist, said the disease has killed many men due to several factors, including poor awareness, knowledge, ignorance and manpower.
He said treatment for the disease is equally very expensive as it costs between N90,000 to N110,000 per one injection administered to a patient every three months.
“Prostate cancer is one of the leading killer diseases in men in Nigeria and the second cause of cancer deaths in men worldwide. Here, in Nigeria, we do not have a national budget designated for prostate cancer as obtainable in some western nations which means that treatment lies solely on the sufferer.”
He said the disease can be prevented by eating consumables like red tomato; green tea, seafoods, such as periwinkles and snails, and regular exercise.
“Green tea contains anti-oxidant and anti-free radicals while the sea foods have magnesium, manganese, selenium and vitamins E and D, which are nutrients for prevention of the disease.”
Omudu said efforts are currently on to reduce the number of men suffering from prostate cancer by creating more awareness and training of more urologists to provide needed expertise. The medical doctor advised the officers and ratings to take measures to prevent the disease, especially going by the nature of their job which demanded physical fitness.
Speaking, Commander of the ship, Obi Egbuchulam, said the base organised the lecture to expose troops to dangers posed by the disease.
He said some serving and retired naval officers and ratings are suffering from prostate cancer, which could affect their ability to provide optimal service to the country.
“I think it is our responsibility to educate and enlighten our personnel on dangers of prostate cancer, so that they can live a happy and healthy life serving and after retirement,” said Egbuchulam.
“Some people developed this disease due to ignorance and so, this lecture is taking place together with a free Prostate Specific Antigen screening to enable our personnel know their cancer status,” the commodore said.
Mr. Egbuchulam assured that the exercise would be a regular and urged personnel from other units and formations to always get tested.