Archives for August2014


GUYS, KNOW YOUR RISK OF PROSTATE CANCER!

WELCOME TO CECP-NIGERIA'S BLOG

WELCOME TO CECP-NIGERIA’S BLOG

What is Prostate Cancer?

Cancer that occurs in the prostate gland.

What is Prostate?

The prostate is a gland found only in males. It is located in front of the rectum (last part of the large intestine leading to the rectum) and below the urinary bladder (where urine is stored). The size of the prostate varies with age. In younger men, it is about the size of a kolanut, but it can be much larger in older men.

What is a risk factor?

A risk factor is anything that affects your chance of getting a disease such as cancer.

Why is it important to know your risk of prostate cancer?

Recent report by World Health Organization (WHO) showed a 100 per cent increase in number of deaths from prostate cancer in four short years in Nigeria. Prostate cancer now kills 26 Nigerian men every day. Knowledge of your risk will help you to take the precaution.

KNOW YOUR RISK

A. NON-MODIFIABLE RISK FACTORS i.e. Risk Factor that cannot be changed (MAJOR)

Age- Prostate cancer is very rare in men younger than 40, but the chance of having prostate cancer rises rapidly after age 50.

Family history- Having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk of developing this disease. The risk is higher for men who have a brother with the disease than for those with an affected father. The risk is much higher for men with several affected relatives, particularly if their relatives were young at the time the cancer was found.

Race- Prostate cancer occurs more often in Africans. It also occurs at an earlier age in blacks and is more aggressive in blacks. So, ALL BLACK MEN ARE AT INCREASED RISK OF PROSTATE CANCER!

B.     NON-MODIFIABLE RISK FACTORS (UNCOMMON)

Length of Your Fingers- Men who have an index finger that is longer than their ring finger are 33 percent less likely to have prostate cancer than men with an index finger that is the same length or shorter than their ring finger

Hair Loss (Balding)- Men who began losing their hair by age 20 are twice as likely to get prostate cancer later in life.

The Gender of Your Kids- men who father only daughters may be up to 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer than those who father only sons. In fact, the more sons a man had, the lower his risk was. But don’t blame your kids, some men are predisposed to having daughters because of certain unique characteristics on their Y chromosome, which might also enhance their risk for developing prostate cancer.

Height- Tall men are at higher risk of prostate cancer. The risk of the potentially fatal disease rises by around 6 per cent for every extra four inches in height. A short man has around a 19 per cent smaller risk of developing the cancer than a man a foot taller than him.

C.     MODIFIABLE RISK FACTORS i.e. Risk Factor that can be changed

Diet- Men who eat a lot of red meat or high-fat dairy products appear to have a slightly higher chance of getting prostate cancer.

Obesity- Men who are obese (very overweight) have a higher risk of getting more aggressive prostate cancer.

Smoking- Some recent research has linked smoking to a possible small increase in the risk of death from prostate cancer, but this is a new finding that will need to be confirmed by other studies.

Workplace exposures- There is some evidence that firefighters are exposed to substances (toxic combustion products) that may increase risk.

D.  MODIFIABLE RISK FACTORS (UNCOMMON)

Sexual Activity- Active sex life (sexual activity more than ten times a month) ‘cuts prostate cancer risk’ – once a man is over fifty. Having an active sex life in their 50s could protect men against prostate cancer. But greater levels of sexual activity among men in their 20s could increase their chances of developing the disease in later life. Keeping up a regular sex life – rather than excessive activity in younger years followed by a fallow period – is best for men’s health.

This could be due to the fact that during the early years the prostate gland is more susceptible to hormonal changes and is still developing. As men age and accumulate toxins from the diet or through their lungs, sexual activity may help release them.’

obese bald man

So, the typical physical characteristic of a high risk man is an obese tall man with early balding whose index finger is same length or equal to that of the ring finger with mainly female children and who was very sexually active in his 20s to 30s but has lost interest in sex in his middle age .

NOTE: Risk factors don’t tell us everything. Many people with one or more risk factors never get cancer, while others who get cancer may have had few or no known risk factors.

BOTTOM LINE:

ALL NIGERIAN MEN ABOVE 40 SHOULD CARRY OUT THEIR PROSTATE CANCER SCREENING

SUPPORT THE BIG WAR AGAINST CANCER AIMED AT TAKING CANCER PREVENTION TO THE GRASSROOTS THROUGH THE USE OF MOBILE CANCER CENTRES (MCC).

mobile cancer centre

FOR MORE INFO, SEE ICPD PAGE OF www.cecpng.org

© 2014 Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP- Nigeria)

 

EBOLA: RECONCILING PERCEPTION AND REALITY

WELCOME TO CECP-NIGERIA'S BLOG

WELCOME TO CECP-NIGERIA’S BLOG

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last month, the first cases of Ebola infection were reported in Nigeria. This has rightly precipitated a series of remedial actions and reactions at all levels of society. Thanks to the sustained media advocacy!

ebola-4716_l_8906b14afc097ca4

NIGERIA

At the other extreme, rumors on folk remedies abound, spread through the social media and text messages. Alas, Nigerians, stricken with the fear of contracting the Ebola virus, are willing to experiment with any remedy, no matter how far-fetched. Even those supposedly enlightened have believed and acted on these myths. So far, one Nigerian is on record to have died from Ebola since the late Liberian- American brought the virus to Lagos on July 20, 2014. However, media reports have it that four Nigerians have died from the excessive intake of salt, which is one of the false but widely publicized preventive measures. This is a tragic illustration of the truth of the saying that ignorance is itself a disease.

In the light of this, it is important to try to put things in the right perspective; to make perception truer to reality.

In doing so, we do well to pay attention to James Ball who in a recent article in the UK Guardian says, “Ebola is a horrific disease that kills more than half of people infected by it. It’s unsurprising that the prospect of catching it is a scary one. Even in the midst of the current outbreak – the worst ever – the spread of the disease has not been rapid…. In West Africa: around 400 new cases were reported in June, and a further 500 or so in July. The 800-plus deaths from Ebola in Africa so far this year are indisputably tragic, but it is important to keep a sense of proportion – other infectious diseases are far, far deadlier. Since the Ebola outbreak began in February, around 300,000 people have died from malaria while tuberculosis has likely claimed over 600,000 lives. Ebola might have our attention, but it’s not even close to being the biggest problem in Africa right now. ”

We must do everything RIGHT and BENEFICIAL to check the spread of Ebola. However, the fight against Ebola should not remove our attention from much bigger and much deadlier public health problems, especially the fight against cancer and diseases which are risk factors for cancer, including human papilloma virus (HPV), HIV/AIDs, hepatitis virus, malaria, kidney disease, diabetes and others.

Cancer is in fact a bigger problem in Nigeria than other better publicized problems like Ebola, militancy, kidnapping, air traffic accident among others. For example, since the onset of the recent Ebola epidemic, 1711 Ebola cases have been reported, out of whom 932 have died (WHO: Aug 6, 2014). In sharp contrast, during the same period, 3.4 million people have died from cancer globally; 36,000 of them in Nigeria alone!

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) causes more death from cancer in one single day, than Ebola has caused in the 38 years since it (Ebola) was first identified in 1976.

HPV VACCINE

Cancer remains the No. 1 KILLER of mankind, now being diagnosed in one out of every three persons alive. Over 100,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed annually in Nigeria out of which about 80,000 die. This means that cancer kills over 10 Nigerians every hour and 240 every day with a death ratio of 4:5 (80% mortality)!

Ebola is known to kill between 50% and 90% of those infected with the virus (66% overall, and 54% since 2006). The overall mortality rate of Ebola since the onset of the recent epidemic is 54%. Between the 2nd and 4th of August, about 108 cases of Ebola and 45 deaths occurred in the 4 West African countries (Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria) with the current epidemic. This gives a mortality rate of 42% for Ebola; meanwhile cancer has a mortality rate of 80% in Nigeria.

Furthermore unlike Ebola which causes relatively rapid death, death from cancer is preceded by untold suffering which the cancer victims endure for months or even years, before finally succumbing to the disease. Cancer, which is mankind’s most expensive disease, leads to a significant financial drain on the family of the victim and by extension, on the nation.

Even more worrisome is the recent report by World Health Organization (WHO) which showed an increasing number of cancer deaths in Nigeria whilst cancer survivorship of other countries is improving. In four short years, death from the commonest cancers in men and women (Prostate and Breast Cancer, respectively) has increased significantly in Nigeria. Recent data shows that breast cancer now kills 40 Nigerian women every day whilst prostate cancer now kills 26 Nigerian men every day. This represents almost 50 per cent increase in the number of deaths for breast cancer, and 100 per cent increase for prostate cancer, within four years.

We must intensify the BIG WAR against cancer, because most cancer deaths are preventable. According to the WHO, one-third of cancers are preventable, another one-third is curable and the last third can have good quality of life with appropriate care. Meanwhile, four out of every five Nigerian cancer cases die. Indeed, there is nothing as sad as having people suffer and die from an avoidable cause. In the United States of America, cancer used to be a death sentence just like it is in today’s Nigeria. However, with better care, the survival rate of cancer in the USA has now improved to two (2) in three (3). Moreover, the stated target of the American Cancer Society is to improve cancer survival rate to 100%, thus making this the last century for cancer in the USA.

BIG WAR CECP LOGO

This success story of the USA is not surprising, given their enormous investment on public health care and infrastructure. Apart from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), there are currently over 1500 Comprehensive Cancer Centres (CCC) and over 2000 mobile health units in the USA.

mobile-health-screening-bus-emory

A Comprehensive Cancer Centres (CCC) is a tertiary health institution focused exclusively on cancer care. Even developing countries like India, Egypt, Zambia, Mauritania, Pakistan, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, among others, have CCC. For example, India has over 120 CCC as well as mobile units, mostly established with the support of the private sector. Egypt has a world-class NCI, several CCC as well as mobile cancer units. Egypt also has the largest children cancer centre in the world, built and still being sustained solely by donations. At present, Nigeria has no single CCC, nor a full-fledged Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC).

It is therefore expedient to provide public health infrastructure to adequately tackle the contemporary cancer scourge in Nigeria. In fact, a robust health infrastructure is also the requisite for tackling the Ebola epidemic. US President Barak Obama alluded to this when he stated that it is too soon to send experimental drugs for Ebola treatment to Africa; affected countries should instead focus on building a “strong public infrastructure”.

A general view of Emory University Hospital in Atlanta

There is no denying the fact that there is an urgent need to provide adequate basic public health infrastructure in our country. We cannot keep running after the first- class facilities in other countries whilst neglecting our motherland. Just before his death from throat cancer, the late Archbishop Obiefuna – past President of the Catholic Bishop Conference of Nigeria, said “a country that does not give priority to the health care of the citizens is not worth the name country”.

According to the World Health Organization, “We cannot treat our way out of the cancer problem. More commitment to prevention and early detection is desperately needed in order to complement improved treatments and address the alarming rise in cancer burden globally.”

A good starting point would be the deployment of Mobile Cancer Centres (MCC) to take holistic health promotion to the grassroots of Nigeria. The campaign to actualize this is the present focus of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP-Nigeria). An MCC is NOT the same as a Mobile Mammogram. Rather, it is a clinic on wheels, in which screening, follow-up and treatment (including surgeries), can take place. It includes facilities for mammography, sonology, colonoscopy, colposcopy and cryotherapy, as well as a surgical theatre. It is also equipped with a laboratory for screening against certain cancers like prostate, colon and bladder cancer and other common diseases which are known to increase the risk of cancer. These include malaria, diabetes, hepatitis, kidney disease, hypertension and HIV/AIDS.  Thus the MCC would tackle the double burden of disease i.e. Communicable & Non-Communicable. Each MCC costs 95 million naira.

mobile cancer centre

It is important to note that the MCC could also be therapeutic with regards to many of the social problems that Nigeria is facing today, because the mobile centres would be a symbol of hope for the millions of poor Nigerian masses who believe that the country does not care for them.

Ebola itself is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. The key measures for Ebola prevention are better hygiene and prompt isolation of infected persons. Both measures will only be imbibed through public health education; the MCC would be a great means of getting life-saving health education to the grassroots.

We cannot achieve the vision of stemming the contemporary cancer scourge without the support of everyone.

Dr. Paul Kleihues, Director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and co-editor of the World Cancer Report 2012 said “We can make a difference by taking action today. We have the opportunity to stem this increase. This report calls on Governments, health practitioners and the general public to take urgent action. Action now can prevent one third of cancers, cure another third, and provide good, palliative care to the remaining third who need it.”

The last word goes to Bill Gates; he said “you do not need to be the chair of a large foundation to have an impact on the world. Risk takers need backers. Good ideas need evangelists. Forgotten communities need advocates. And whether your chief resource is volunteer time or hard-earned dollars, for a relatively small investment catalytic philanthropy can make a big impact”.

© 2014 Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP- Nigeria)

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