Get screened for prostate cancer, men urged

HEALTH and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro has encouraged Zimbabwean men to avert deaths linked to prostate cancer through regular screening.
It is recommended by doctors that at the age of 40 men should make it a habit to get checked for prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among men in Zimbabwe.
Addressing a webinar on Fighting Cancer, Dr Mangwiro also a diabetes specialist said it is time efficient and cost saving to go for cancer screening before the cancer spreads leading to exorbitantly priced management interventions.
“This is a disease that needs thorough publication in the sense that this is a disease where something can be done. Like Dr Tsikai said that when it is found small, they can put something in the prostate to stop the cancer from spreading. All of us must get into the system of telling the population that seeing a doctor seems expensive but you’ll have averted a distaster. If you look at prices, like for prostatectomy when the cancer is advanced, it becomes expensive and you lose more than a few dollars that you would need for Dr Meki to tell you that the growth on the prostate is going out of hand,” Dr Mangwiro said.
He bemoaned the high burden of NCDs in the Zimbabwean population.

“NCDs are there including people with HIV. They are no longer dying with HIV but dying of NCDs. If you look at the population that has a burden of NCDs hypertension, Dr Munyandu once said in a paper that 35 percent of Zimbabweans have hypertension. In our papers we discovered that diabetes is almost 15 percent prevalent. What we now know about diabetes is that men or women with diabetes have 20 percent more chances of getting cancers than persons without,” Dr Mangwiro said.
Dr Mangwiro said it was important to have an integrated health system which not only caters for people living with HIV but one which addresses Non Communucable Diseases (NCDs)
“NCDs are there including people with HIV.In our hospitals there is this habit when men living with HIV collect their ARVs, they can hardly breathe, they are so obese. The nurse just gives them the ARVs, find the viral load good but the same man in a few hours will drop dead simply because of prostate cancer,” he said.
A urologist and an oncologist Dr Meki ans Dr Tsikai both said cancer is a preventable disease which requires lifestyle, dietary and nutritional discipline.
Dr Meki said frequent ejaculations of up to 21 times a month have been studied to reduce the risk of getting prostate cancer.
“I dont think it is much of a problem if one exceeds the prescribed 21 times,” he said.

Dr Tsikai said prostate cancer according to studies is highly prevalent among black men.

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