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African-American surgeon performs first documented RP in Nigeria

According to a media release from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, Dr. Willie Underwood, III recently performed the first documented radical prostatectomy (RP) for localized prostate cancer ever carried out in Nigeria — at the Shawsand Medical Centre in Port Harcourt. … READ MORE …

National Health Insurance to cover prostate cancer in Ghana?

According to a report on JoyonLine.com, prostate cancer may soon be included in the list of diseases that are covered by national health insurance in Ghana.

Treatment of prostate cancer is not currently covered by the national health insurance scheme, but recent data suggest that there are about 200 cases of prostate cancer for every 100,000 men. Ghanaian National Health Insurance already covers  care for women with breast cancer and Dr. Lydia Dsane-Selby, the Director of Clinical Audit, is quoted as suggesting that an amendment could be made in an ongoing review to include prostate cancer. “If the ministry or Parliament decides that this is a major health problem for Ghanaians, they will make the necessary amendment,” she added.

Ghanaian medical officer recommends testing for prostate cancer

According to a report from the Ghana News Agency last Friday, Dr. Alfred Adjei of the Volta River Authority Hospital is encouraging men aged 40 to have appropriate tests for risk of prostate cancer. Early detection enables patients to be treated effectively, before the cancer can spread, while later detection may mean that the cancer has already spread beyond the prostate gland.

Dr. Adjei appealed to women to encourage their husbands, fathers, and other men to get tested annually for this form of cancer.

Annual meeting of AORTIC in Das-es-Salaam

The annual meeting of AORTIC (the African Organisation for Research & Training in Cancer) was held in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania earlier this month. … READ MORE …

Beware of what you may read!

An article online in The East African on Saturday could be misleading for African men.

This article states that, “The blood test used to screen for prostate cancer saves very few lives. And it leads to risky and unnecessary treatments for large numbers of men, two studies have found.” And this statement is true … in America and Europe, where the two studies were carried out, and where PSA testing has been widespread for 20 years.

However, the situation in Africa is very different. For starters, the risk for prostate cancer among black Africans appears to be higher than it is even for African Americans. Second, most Africans have not been being tested for prostate cancer for the past 20 years. It would be completely inappropriate to apply the results of these two studies to men on the African continent at this time.

Ishmael Norman’s Cross-Ghana Walk-a-Thon

ishmael-normanIn a few weeks time, Ishmael Norman, a 54-year-old Ghanaian prostate cancer survivor, will be starting a 1600-mile trip on foot and by bicycle from Half Assini near the border between Ghana and the Ivory Coast through Accra to Tamale in northern Ghana. … READ MORE …

Prostate cancer risk in men of African descent

Odedina et al. have reviewed available data on the incidence, prevalence, and mortality rates of  prostate cancer among African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, and men in West African nations historically associated with the trans-Atlantic slave trade. They note the very high incidence of prostate cancer among all these groups, which appears to reflect an ancestral genetic predisposition for prostate cancer. They also note that the morbidity and mortality of prostate cancer among African Americans has been falling since 1991; however, the rate of that fall is less that among Caucasian Americans.

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