THE INFLUENCE OF PROSTATE CANCER AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS ON THE KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND PRACTICES OF MEN IN SOUTH-EASTERN NIGERIA

CANCER AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS ON THE KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND PRACTICES OF MEN IN SOUTH-EASTERN NIGERIA

 

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Cancer is the growth disorder of cells in the body. Clinically, it can be defined as a large number (up to a hundred) of complex diseases that behave differently depending on the cell types from which they originate (William, Klug et.al, 2009, p.513). It is a genetic disease which is caused by mutation that has dominated other cells. In 2000, there were 1,220,100 reported cases of new cancers and 552,200 cancer deaths, indicating that roughly half of the people who develop cancer die from it (William, Klug, et.al, 2009, p.513). Statistics emanating from different health organisations and agencies around the world indicate that there are over 16 million new cases of cancer globally. This figure, according to World Health Organization (WHO) 2011report, is likely to double in 2020 (Chustecka, 2011, p.1). The rapid spread of this disease to a large extent is as a result of unawareness of its early symptoms which can be treated at its early stage when detected. Cells proliferation and metastasis nature of cancer has made it worst, this has resulted to its fast spread (cancer) in human body. Cell proliferation has to do with the division of cells into multiple units which can be said to be characterized by abnormal cell growth. On the other hand, metastasis is a process that allows these cells to spread to other parts of the body. The painful aspect of this disease is the ability to combine both cell proliferation and metastatic, this makes it more dangerous. (Peter & George, 2002, p. 367).

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The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), in 2008 gave an estimate of over 681,000 and 512,400 new cases of cancer. These figures have increased to 1.4 million cases and 714 thousand deaths in 2010 (IARC Report 2010, p.3). The three most deadly human cancers are cancer of the lung, cancer of the colon and breast cancer. However, lung cancer is largely preventable, most of these cases result from smoking cigarettes (American Cancer Society, 2000, p. 13).

There are several causes of cancer, notable among them is the genetic factor. John Hill, an English physician in 1761 discovered that some tumors which can develop to cancer are caused by chemicals. Percival Pott, also made a similar discovery, he discovered that heavy snuff users are exposed to cancer. The 1966 Nobel Prize winner in medicine, Peyton, Rous discovered another cause of cancer. He found out that virus can cause cancer in human (Peter & George, 2002, p. 368).

Peter and George, (2002, p. 369), stated that, one out of every three children born will contract cancer at some time during their lives. While one-fourth of the male children and one-third of the female children will someday die of cancer. One begins to wonder what will be the fate of developing nations since the level of knowledge and awareness of this disease is relatively poor in these nations.

The most deadly disease in men is prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is a type of cancer which only affects men. It is the second leading cause of death in men. (World Cancer Report 2011, p.4). It occurs when tumor begins to grow in the prostate gland of male reproductive system. The word “prostate” means “one standing in front”. The prostate is so called because of its position, which is directly at the base of the bladder. It is estimated that 241,740 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed in 2012 in America and out of this number, 28,170 patients will die from this disease (America Cancer Society, 2012, p. 23).

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This is to show the low level of awareness and attention given to this disease that is gradually sending most men to the grave. Developing nations are seriously at disadvantage when it comes to knowledge and awareness of prostate cancer. Most of the citizens in developing nations have not heard of it talk more of knowing how to detect or treat it at the early stage. However, public campaigns on this have been paramount to governments that have the interest of their citizens at heart.

The questions most people seem to ask are what are the causes of prostate cancer? How can it be detected and how can it be treated? However, nobody is really sure what the specific causes are. Scientists have been able to come up with possible ideas which are likely to cause it, these include, genetics, age, lifestyle, race, and medications.

Studies over the years indicate that heredity is definitely a cause of prostate cancer. For instance, a man has the tendency of developing prostate cancer if his biological father or brother has it. Age is also one of the causes. The older a man is, the higher is his risk of having it. However, it is rare among men below the age of 45, but very common among men that are 50 and above. Studies have also shown that some diets such as vegetables can reduce a person’s chance of developing prostate cancer. Other studies have indicated that lack of some essential vitamins in the body such as vitamin D, a meal rich with red meat may also raise a person’s chances of developing prostate cancer. Research studies have equally shown that there might be a link between the daily use of anti-inflammatory medicines and prostate cancer. Men who have had gonorrhea have a higher chance of developing prostate cancer. Aside these, there are other causes of prostate cancer in men (Peter & George, 2002, p. 368).

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There are several symptoms of prostate cancer, but at the early stages of prostate cancer, there are usually no symptoms. However, routine medical check-up and blood test can help to show if one has it or not. When symptoms do exist, they are usually one or more of the following:

Treating prostate cancer to a large extent depends on the growth stage of the tumor, age and health condition of the patient are also determinants.

 

 

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