In marking the month of consciousness about prostate cancer [November], Uganda's Cancer Institute (UCI) last Friday held a live Facebook / Twitter session to sensitize the public. DR FRED OKUKU, an oncologist at UCI, was online to discuss prostate cancer. Yudaya Nangonzi brings you some of the following questions and answers:
Briefly tell us about our work …
Cancer is a very challenging disease. It is difficult to heal and require a lot of expertise and resources. Nearly 5,500 new patients are receiving UCI annually. We have facilities for treating cancer like chemotherapy, radiation, surgical and palliative care.
We also have counselors who continue to talk to people with or without cancer.
At what age should you start worrying about prostate cancer?
We started worrying at age 40, because very few people had prostate cancer below that age. But you should also worry or check more if you have family history of cancer because we are leading you to be at high risk. We must even show for 35 years if you have a member of the prostate family.
Why do people fear that they will diagnose prostate cancer?
Just like any other cancer, it is deadly and killing. Just be sure you go to the exams because that's why we all care about this disease. This is the most common cancer among men in Uganda.
Some drops of urine remain and exit late, leaving my pants wet. Can you cope with prostate cancer?
What you may have is terminal disorientation, urinary tract infection that comes with painful urination. Usually do not discharge the bladder; there is often some residue.
As we age and the prostate becomes larger, the amount of urine that remains is slightly larger. Sometimes, it's just a matter of contractions to allow urine to leave. It should not worry if you are young and it's just a small drop. If you continue, you should worry.
Is the cancer cured?
Real. Cancer is a disease that can be cured if diagnosed early. The cancer is found in four phases, with the first degree of wounds and four being considered late.
If one of our cousins succumbs to prostate cancer, is there any possibility of having more cousins?
It is true that prostate cancer can be hereditary and we care if someone is dead. We consider you a person with a high risk because the chances of developing prostate cancer may be around 25 percent. If you come from the same family, your chances are as high as 50 percent. The more members of the family, the greater the risk. Usually we ask you to come to screening earlier.
How is prostate cancer diagnosed?
It is diagnosed by taking tissues or biopsy from the prostate. Usually, we look at the symptoms, but some men do not have them and makes prostate cancer a very serious disease.
There are men without symptoms, but have advanced degrees of prostate cancer. So every man should check in particular if you have urinary problems, but others may not have symptoms.
There are several things we are looking for similar symptoms; we also put a finger in your rectum to feel how much the prostate is, with ultra sound and a blood test known as [prostate-specific antigen], These three results are performed by a doctor, and if we find abnormal results, we can do further examinations including biopsy.
What are the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer?
In the beginning signs are associated with urinary tract. Your prostate is just below the bladder. When you have cancer, your prostate is getting bigger and signs are usually associated with your inability to pass urine, infection or blood urine.
For some men you may have erectile dysfunction, wake up many times to pass the urine, unwittingly pass the urine due to blockage, or the flow of your urine is small or drips instead of running like a tap.
Late signs include bone pain, back pain, yellow anemia, and other complicated cancer issues.
There is a breakdown [of prostate cancer]?
That. Every week, Monday to Friday, we have a doctor sitting in our shadow on the UCI. You can go there and register for free and check it out.
What are the risk factors that cause prostate cancer?
If you have a strong family history of prostate cancer and age. However, in Uganda, do not expect men in the 20s to have, but have a peak between 60 and 70 years.
Other risk factors do not eat the right foods, do not practice, eat too fast food and have no ability to cut and are in the normal body mass index (BMI). Foods that can reduce the risk of prostate cancer include cherry, tomato and watermelon [which] are high in lycopene, berries and all vegetables.
There is also research that red wine may reduce some toxins, but that does not mean you should take all the red wines in the city. However, there is some evidence that it can reduce the risk of prostate cancer and heart disease.
Is there a prostate cancer vaccine?
The prostate cancer is not caused by viruses, and vaccination is only done for diseases caused by infection. So vaccine for prostate cancer is not possible at this time, but researchers develop vaccines that can boost your immune system in general against cancer.
One of the things that cancer affects when in your body is to reduce your immunity to fight infections. This is one of the ways that crabs have managed to get into the body.
Do you have to eat well, exercise regularly and be active in any way to improve your immunity?
Can prostate cancer affect the fertility rate?
That. One of the things I mentioned earlier is that one of the late signs of prostate cancer is erectile dysfunction, meaning that man can not have an erection.
How often should one screen be for prostate cancer?
Usually every year a man has to go and have a test.
Does Sexual Depression Cause The Risk Of Prostate Cancer?
Yes, it leads you to risk and one of the treatments especially for late prostate cancer is to put your testosterone. We do this by a surgical procedure and remove your testicles or give you medications in what we call hormone therapy.
How common is prostate cancer?
This is the most common cancer among men in Uganda and many neighboring countries; It's the number one cancer.
Can other types of cancer be tested for someone who knows the early phase?
Not all cancers can be tested or inspected. Screening is a process in which you are trying to catch cancer in an early stage of people who have no cancer. If you have cancer and come to us, this is a diagnosis.
There are several types of cancer that appear like cervical cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer is generally recommended for people who smoke to see if they are in the lungs and prostate cancer.
All these places have areas where the physician is easy to touch and feel. But for others it is difficult to look like blood cancer and leukemia. But if someone has any symptoms, of course, we act immediately.
I have gouged glands in the groin and neck ….
These swollen glands are called lymph nodes, which is one of the ways the cancer is spreading. There are three main ways in which cancer is moving; blood circulation, lymph nodes and local extension in the adjacent area where cancer started. For example, in the chest it spreads to the adjacent breast tissue, then to the chest and intrudes into other parts of the body.
So if you are [swollen] lymph nodes, you must check that this is not something dangerous.
Are there cases of prostate cancer below 45 years of age?
That. This is especially with people who have one or two or three members of their family who have prostate cancer. Such people begin cancer at an early age.
Tips for Prevention …
Generally speaking, there are many diseases you can fight. As a key rule, there are certain things you should not do. One, it has been proven that alcohol increases the risk of cancer. Two, smoking is a risk factor for many types of cancer including leukemia and cancer in various organs.
Three, HIV and other viral infections; avoid all kinds of viruses. The reason why HIV patients develop cancer is that HIV attacks an immune surveillance system that is fighting cancer. So this puts HIV patients at risk.
The second thing is to forget your diet; vegetables and fruits have anti-poisonous substances that help to remove toxins. The food we eat has a lot of toxins. For example, when you eat burnt pieces of fried meat, it puts you to a very high level [risk of cancer], You must eat less than red meat including pork that many confuse for white meat, but it's purely red meat.
Please settle for less processed meat and more white meat such as fish and chicken to reduce the risk of cancer. Ugandans, we need to be familiar with these things because knowledge is power. If your Body Mass Index (BMI) is above 30 then you have to start worrying because your high BMI predisposes to many diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cancer.