Prostate cancer
Prostate cancer

We were established in the year 2013 with the broad aim to raise awareness on prostate cancer, provide relevant information on prostate cancer treatment, research into prostate cancer locally and helping men diagnosed with prostate cancer to deal with the side effect of conventional prostate cancer treatment with evidence based complementary medicine.

Prostate cancer
Prostate cancer

The month of September brought prostate cancer into focus and is globally celebrated as prostate cancer awareness month. This year, the men’s health foundation team carried out lots of activities in the country to help raise awareness on prostate cancer.

The charity introduced the Ghana Prostate Cancer awareness campaign to speed up the fight on the disease. We visited some selected media houses as we believed that media houses play a critical role in the fight against prostate cancer. Some of the media house we visited and provided expert talk includes; The Ghanaian Times Corporation, The Newstatesman, Today Newspaper, Daily Democrate, Metro TV, TV Africa, GTV and ATV.

We also visited some selected churches such as Star of the Sea Catholic Church at Dansoman and Kwashiman Presby Church. We also pay a visit to the physically challenged association in Somanya, Ghana National Pensioners association in Somanya and Ghanata Senior High School. We were also at the Mawums Quarry in Shai Hills to engage the workers. The campaign was sponsored by the Christian Community Microfinance Limited and we gave 10,000 literatures on prostate cancer.

We bring to the public the result of our findings from our awareness. This large scale study, was purposely conducted, to discover more about the public’s knowledge, awareness and attitudes towards health, prostate cancer and Men’s Health Foundation Ghana

We place a particular focus on groups of interest, e.g. men at higher than average risk of prostate cancer (men over 50, Ghanaian men as men of Black origin and more prone to prostate cancer and men with a family history of the disease in a father or brother), people who know someone with prostate cancer, and how the picture of prostate cancer in the country look like from the electronic media.

The study employed a questionnaire approach involving a large scale questions we asked as part of the expert talk on the awareness month with representative sample of Ghanaian men adults (n=4,000), together with three focus groups prior to the survey and four focus groups following the survey.

General awareness on Prostate Cancer in Ghana
30% of Ghanaians know someone who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer
Only 2% of Ghanaian men could identify where the prostate gland is located
Only 1% of Ghanaian men know what the prostate does
90% of Ghanaian men have never heard of the PSA test

About 95% of Ghanaian men don’t know that the PSA is not prostate cancer test because the test is not specific to tumor.

About 96% also thought that a once prostate check is all that is needed
97% of Ghanaian men thought that is a taboo to have the prostate gland and they don’t know that the prostate gland is the man’s powerhouse

98% of Ghanaians don’t know the difference between prostate cancer and other prostate conditions such as BPH and prostatitis

Risk factor awareness
Age – Only 20% of Ghanaians know that being aged 50 and over increases a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer
Family history – Only 45% of Ghanaians know that having a family history of prostate cancer increases a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer
Ethnicity – Only 2% of Ghanaians know that Black ethnicity increases a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer
90% of Ghanaians men and being Black men would like to know more about prostate cancer risk factors and why black men are more prone to prostate cancer

About 99.99% of Ghanaian men don’t know that the skin color-black is the problem as vitamin D has a direct role to play in the fight against prostate cancer. Our skin is unable to absorb the right amount of vitamin D from the sunlight. The darker the skin, the lower the vitamin D level, and the higher your risk of prostate cancer, and the aggressiveness of the disease after prostate cancer diagnosis.

Almost 100% of Ghanaian men who check their Vitamin D level after the expert talk have low level of Vitamin D and they were amazed.
Men at higher than average risk of prostate cancer
99% of Ghanaian men at higher than average risk of prostate cancer do not classify their own risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer as ‘higher than average’.
93% of Ghanaian men with a family history of prostate cancer in a father or brother.
99% of Ghanaian men don’t also know that having a family history of breast cancer also put you at risk of prostate cancer.

Attitudinal Change in Ghanaian towards Prostate Cancer

More importantly, 99% Ghanaian men at higher than average risk of prostate cancer told us that even if they were aware that they were at a higher than average risk of cancer, but didn’t have any symptoms, they would have their prostate check once a year even if their organizations refused to organize the screening program to them.

More organizations have seen the need to organized programs on prostate health to the men
The women are also concerned about their men’s prostate health and are urging the men to go for prostate check

On Father’s day as National Prostate cancer day in Ghana

100% of Ghanaian men thought that the call for the father’s day to be recognized as national prostate cancer day is in the right other to help educate, raise awareness and organize screening program to the men in county and hence the president must see this as urgent need and give it presidential recognition.

On Herbal Medicines and Prostate cancer management in Ghana
90% of Ghanaians heard about prostate cancer through the radio and TV from herbal practitioners but don’t know that there is currently no evidence of any herbal medicine to cure prostate cancer in Ghana. The vulnerable patients are only move by the advertisement from this media houses before regretting later on.

On Prostate Cancer Treatments on the NHIS
Almost 100% of men said that it is time for the NHIS to include prostate cancer treatment and screening program.

On Prostate Cancer and Relationship
Almost 100% of the women don’t know that prostate cancer treatment can affect their men fertility.
About 90% of Men diagnosed with prostate cancer don’t have an open communication with their wives partly because the treatment affect their manhood and are afraid that it might create a problem in the house during the night. However, the women want their men to tell them everything during their prostate cancer journey.

Special center for Men’s Health
For once, the men are happy that there is a special facility for men’s health in the country and they find this beneficial to express their problem including sexual issues established by the Men’s Health Foundation Ghana at Dodowa-Akoto House.

Dr. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu is a registered Naturopathic doctor who specializes in prostate cancer and a PhD candidate in prostate cancer and alternative medicines –IBAM Academy, Kolkata, India. My research focuses on men of West African descent and prostate cancer and the dangme people. He can be reached on 0500106570 for all contributions. E-mail:[email protected] He is the director of Men’s Health Foundation Ghana; De Men’s Clinic & Prostate Research Lab-Dodowa,Akoo House.

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