Hi, dearly beloved. It’s been a while. My laptop crashed, got repaired and crashed again. I had seminars, term papers and many other engagements. Unfortunately, blogging fell by the wayside. but now, my laptop is up and running. And I think I have less to do, or I have been able to better manage the different engagements that I have. So, fingers crossed.
This post is about prostate cancer. It’s only fair, since I have ranted on about breast cancer and cervical cancer already. (That reminds me; Ladies, have you checked up on your breasts this month? Have you gone for your regular pap smear screening, or had your child vaccinated against HPV? If your answer is no to any of these, please do the needful).
Now, back to the topic. Prostate Cancer is a cancer that occurs in men only, because men alone have prostates. There are other forms of cancers particular to men, like penile cancer, occurring in penises, and testicular cancers occurring in testes, but prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men, particularly among blacks, hence the focus.
(NB: It is important to check your testes once in a while for lumps. You know, just to be careful.)
There is no known cause of prostate cancer. What we know is that being a black man in your 50s puts you at high risk of having prostate cancer. What we also know is that Nigeria has one of the highest numbers of prostate cancer cases worldwide.
Though exercise and healthy eating are very important in preventing all forms of cancers, men also need to go for prostate cancer screening regularly, once they have reached the age of 40. That way, prostate cancer can be caught early and treatment can be effective. Because the sad thing about prostate cancer is that; its early (and easily treatable) stage has no symptoms. When a man begins to notice symptoms, prostate cancer has already reached an advanced stage, where it is much more difficult to treat, or futile. That means a man may be living his life fully, and not know anything is wrong with him until he begins to notice painful urination, frequent urination, bloody urine, or urgency in urination. But by this time, when he goes to the hospital to complain about these discomforts, it’s already pretty bad, and there is nothing much that can be done. That’s why regular screening is so important; to catch it and treat it on time.
However, there are three important issues I need to raise. One, it is highly unlikely that men aged 40 and above (especially in Nigeria) will read this blog post. Two, men hate going to the hospital, for reasons like “feelings of invincibility” and ?????? (Because I really can’t think of any other reason why a man will refuse to go to the hospital, but I’m sure there are many more). Three, men hate getting their prostates checked, because, they find it embarrassing, and uncomfortable. That is why I am imploring you to help out your loved one, who is male and aged 40 years and above. Persuade them to get their prostates checked. Take them to the hospital if you can. Tell them you love them, and you really want to them to be healthy. If they promise to go get their prostates checked, ask them every time you see them if they have. Remind them if they have forgotten. If they get their prostates checked and everything is A-okay, then good, but if something is detected, then good too. At least they get to treat it early. At least, your loved one would have been given the gift of time. And really, who doesn’t want one?