Dr Bassey Eyo, a member of the Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Cross River chapter, on Thursday, said that being a man of over 40 years is a risk factor in contracting prostate cancer.
She told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar that “having a family history of the disease also makes a man prone to contracting the ailment.”
Eyo said prostate cancer was common in men of over 40 years and for a man to be safe, he needed to be screened.
She explained that during screening, an antigen called prostate-specific antigen is picked in the blood, and when these antigens
are more than four, it is then suspected that the man has contracted prostate cancer.
She noted that physical examination would also be carried out on the man, after taking his history.
According to her, there is no specific known cause of prostate cancer, except that it has a hereditary part and can
be influenced by bad lifestyle like smoking, drinking and excessive use of tobacco.
She advised that “any man who is above 40 years should go get a Digital Rectile Examination (DRE); it is not painful or expensive,
unfortunately, many Nigerians wait for the disease to come first before they treat.
She explained that “DRE is a test for both men and women. It allows a doctor to check the lower rectum, pelvis, and lower
belly for cancer and other health problems.
“Depending on the stage of the prostate cancer, it could be operated on or drugs can be given to the patient which he would be taking for life.
“Anyone that has a male in his family that died from prostate cancer or that encounters difficulty in urinating or sees traces of blood in his urine
should get immediate checkup.
“Even those who experience excessive urination, split urine during urination or a feeling of some urine left after urination should run to
hospital for DRE.”
The MWAN member said that the Cross River chapter of the association had declared the month of October as cancer-free month with the theme “I can and I will” and outlined programmes, ranging from enlightenment campaigns to free cancer screenings in the state.