Sherry Hanny Ayittey, Minister for Health
Sherry Hanny Ayittey, Minister for Health

By Raphael obu

Christian Community Microfinance Limited , Ghana?s leading microfinance and Men?s Health Foundation Ghana ?a prostate cancer organization will provide free prostate cancer screening for men 35years and above on this Sunday June 15 from 8am -6pm at Dodowa-Akoto House as part of the financial institution corporate social responsibility. According to the founder of the foundation, the charity is very impressed to receive the first grant from Christian Community Microfinance Limited to start the awareness.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in Ghana. Each year closed to 1,000 men are diagnosed and closed to 800 men die from the disease state Ralph Obu.

For most of Africa, Medical care access is limited, with only 4% of Ghanaian men in 2004-2006, for instance, having health insurance in contrast, about 80% non-Hispanic blacks in the US had some types of health insurance coverage in 2008. Under diagnosis of prostate cancer incidence in Ghana is likely in population with health care access. Quality of the medical care systems and registries also may have substantial impact on the completeness and accuracy of the reported incidence in Ghana. Availability of pathology services reflected by percent of cases microscopically verified; likely compromises the quality of cancer diagnosis. Thus the true Prostate cancer incidence in Ghanaian men is likely higher than what is reported. Whereas in the advanced countries, screening for PSA has led to early detection and management of the disease, screening has been low in Ghana, thus leading to low detection rate, poor management and increased mortality. Lack of screening facilities is also a major challenged in Ghana the founder said.

 

Very often you find elderly male patients in Ghana above 40years complaining of a feeble urinary stream, hesitancy, dribbling, having to urinate frequently and urgently, feeling that they can?t empty their bladder completely and loss of libido.

These observations are usually on the increase whilst little or no effort is made to raise awareness for early detection ?stated Ralph Obu.

Men?s Health Foundation Ghana is Ghana?s leading charity working with people affected by prostate cancer. ?The Charity funds research, provides support and information, and campaigns to improve the lives of men with prostate cancer. We lead change and believe men deserve better treatments.

The Charity provides the most comprehensive range of services dedicated to prostate cancer providing vital support for everyone affected by the disease, including men concerned about the disease as well as men who have been diagnosed, their partners, friends and families.

Black?? men have 60% chances of getting prostate cancer and twice likely to die of prostate cancer than white men. According to the prostate cancer UK 1 in 4 black men will get prostate cancer in their lifetime. This means Black men must be more proactive when it comes to health issues.

Black men have significantly higher rates of prostate cancer.

Black men have lower rates of screening for prostate cancer.

Black men have, on average, more advanced and harder to cure prostate cancer at the time of diagnosis.

Black men have a higher chance of dying from their prostate cancer.

As the most common cancer affecting men in the Ghana and the second highest cause of male deaths from cancer, prostate cancer is a public health issue.

In the UK, national screening programmes have been introduced for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers, helping to reduce mortality from these diseases. However, there is currently no prostate cancer screening programme. This leaves men at a significant disadvantage.

Currently, the UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) advice against the introduction of a national screening programme for prostate cancer using the PSA test because evidence indicates that such a programme would lead to significant levels of over-diagnosis and potential over-treatment of the disease.

The Charity currently supports the UK NSC advice. However, recent research tells us that some men will benefit from having their prostate cancer diagnosed earlier when it has a greater chance of successful treatment. This creates a need for all men at higher risk of prostate cancer to have the opportunity to consider the pros and cons of having a PSA test and make an informed choice about whether it is right for them. Hence Men?s Health Foundation Ghana screening is an informed choice but the unique thing about the program is that it?s involved the introduction of the ultrasound of the prostate to assess men?s prostate volume. It is indeed a smart screening for men.

To make an informed choice about the PSA test men need first to be aware of prostate cancer and the test. They then need information and one-to-one support from a health professional to guide them through the decision making process. The UK NSC recommends that in the absence of a screening programme men should be able to make an informed choice about the PSA test. In response, the Department of Healthhave developed the Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme (PCRMP) to ensure that men who are concerned about the risk of prostate cancer receive clear and balanced information about the advantages and disadvantages of the PSA test and treatment for prostate cancer. The Programme consists of an information pack that has been sent to GPs across the country to assist them in the counselling of men who enquire about testing. Men 50years and above can screen for free under the NHS and the charity believes Ghana currently needs that.

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