A non-governmental organisation, The African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer, has lamented the lack of radiotherapy machines in Africa.
The Head of Nigeria office of the NGO, Dr Omolara Fatiregun, in a statement, titled, ‘AORTIC commemorates prostate cancer awareness month,’ said the inadequacy of radiotherapy machines lead to delays in the treatment of most patients.
“Most prostate cancer requires radiotherapy treatment alongside other treatment modalities. Radiotherapy is an essential part of prostate cancer treatment and has been shown to improve survival in prostate cancer.
“Unfortunately, there is a gross inadequacy of cancer treatment facilities with radiotherapy machines across Africa; some countries don’t even have radiotherapy machines in Africa. This inadequacy leads to delays in treatment because most patients have to travel long distances to access radiotherapy treatment. Another factor is the high cost of radiotherapy treatment when available,” Fatiregun said in the statement.
She noted that prostate cancer was a common cancer among adult males worldwide, adding that it was the commonest cancer among men in Nigeria.
“It is the second most diagnosed cancer in men, with an estimated 1.1 million diagnoses worldwide in 2018, accounting for 15 per cent of all cancers diagnosed. It is also the commonest cancer in men in Nigeria.
“Prostate cancer arises from the prostate gland. The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system located below the bladder. As a man advances in age, many abnormalities can occur in the prostate gland, one of which is prostate cancer. Prostate cancer occurs when the cells in this gland become malignant and divide uncontrollably and usually spreads around the body if not detected early,” Fatiregun added.
She said, “Prevention tips include a healthy diet and lifestyle modification like reducing calories consumption, and regular exercise to keep a healthy weight, reduction in fat intake from red meat, moderate calcium intake.
“Incorporate cooked tomatoes and vegetables into many of your weekly meals. Avoid smoking for many reasons. Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. Seek medical treatment for stress, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and depression. Reducing stress in the workplace and home will lead to a longer, happier life.”