Motolani Ogunsanya, an Assistant Professor in Clinical and Administrative Sciences in the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre, who has researched on prostate cancer in black men has advised on early detection.
Speaking in an interview published by Premium Times, she said, “the major findings from our research highlight the importance of early detection of prostate cancer, particularly for the Nigerian group. However, the healthcare system in Nigeria operates on an out-of-pocket basis, placing a significant financial burden on individuals.
“Alongside early detection, it is crucial for the government to provide affordable treatment options and reduce the financial burden on patients. Cancer treatments can be prohibitively expensive, exceeding the minimum wage in Nigeria, making it difficult for individuals to access necessary care.
“For individuals with a family history of prostate cancer, it is recommended to begin screening at the age of 40 using the Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test and the Digital Rectal Examination (DRE). Regular health check-ups are also essential for monitoring overall health.
“Monitoring vitamin D levels is also important, as lower levels have been associated with more aggressive forms of prostate cancer. Therefore, my recommendations for the Nigerian group will include prioritising early detection, ensuring affordable treatment options, and maintaining regular health check-ups to improve prostate cancer outcomes.”
On the treatment options adopted by the men in the study, Ms Ogunsanya explained that “regarding treatment options adopted by the men in the study, various approaches were utilised. The average age of the participants was around 65 years, with the African group being diagnosed approximately 10 years earlier. Radiotherapy was the most common form of therapy, with approximately 20 per cent of men receiving combination therapy, such as radiotherapy, followed by surgery. Active surveillance, which involves closely monitoring less aggressive cancers, was also an option.”