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Changing the face of Prostate Cancer in Nigeria and Africa

 

Presentation

By Dr. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu: PhD (A.M)

Research Professor of Prostate Cancer and Holistic Medicine

Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Larnaca city, Cyprus

President of Cancer Voices Ghana and Men’s Health Foundation

Ghana

6th May 2017

Elomaz Hotels, Ikeja-Lagos, Nigeria

Mr. Chairman,Passion is the energy that keeps us going, that keeps us filled with meaning, and happiness, and excitement, and anticipation. Passion is a powerful force in accomplishing anything you set your mind to, and in experiencing work and life the fullest extent possible. Ultimately, passion is the driving force behind success and happiness that allows us all to live better lives.

On this I will like to thank the team in Nigeria for the great work done here to raise awareness, provide better services and national policies to address the cancer situation in Nigeria. Let me use this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Samuel Ariyo Larbi , the National coordinator for his endurance to stay back in Nigeria to help this project become a reality. To his supporting wife Oluwakemi Ariyo Larbi and all those who played a vital role to support this project.

Finally, this project will not be a success without the chairman Professor Bishop Rufus Oguntuwase for taking the project and making it a reality. May God bless you all and note that each man’s prostate saved will be credited to your account for longevity.

Mr. Chairman,at a very tender age, my very responsible dad used to put up a mantra that he won’t die like the worm but he will die the death of a millipede. That saying however didn’t make sense to me as the eldest of his children, let alone my younger siblings. As I grew up, I began to ponder more and more on this subject. I began to analyze how the worm and the millipede die. In my curiosity as a child, I placed a dead worm and millipede in our backyard for about a week. Afterwards, I found out that, the worm degenerated into total dust and had left behind no remains. Unlike the worm, the millipede, though equally dead, I found that its bodily rings still remained and lived on. For almost a month and over, I still noticed the remains of the millipede at our backyard while the worm was totally lost.

From this experiment, I concluded; the worm dies and leaves no remains for its memorial; the millipede dies and leaves on an evidence of its existence. My dad’s parable was adequately interpreted to me hence. Yes, what we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others live on forever. The end of a matter is better than its beginning. How we die matters to the world. Our lives are found on purpose. Our daily efforts must draw us a step closer to that great purpose we carry.

I am a man on a mission to stop prostate cancer before it strikes in the black community

“Service is the rent we pay to be living. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time.” My role as a specialist in prostate cancer and a researcher   is to provide an invaluable service to patients of diverse backgrounds and beliefs using holistic and conventional   medicine.  Also  as  a  policy  maker,  I  want  to  use  ‘Medical  Politics’  to  influence  decisions  in  Government  for  total  holistic  healings  in  health  care.  I want  to  see  a  continent   where  cancer  treatment  is  not  luxury,  a  continent   where  there  is  national recognition of all cancers as a major health challenge and policies to address it.

I want to see a rapid change and progress in cancer services in Africa and a change in Men’s Health  and ultimately find cure for cancer using Holistic Medicine as the future you picture is the future you will feature, the ‘YOU’ you see is the ‘YOU’ you will become. Therefore picture a great future to feature and desire a great ‘YOU’ to become and the almighty God will see to it that you have featured in the future you have pictured and have become the YOU” you have desired”. We have pictured a great future for Nigeria to fight prostate cancer

Mr. Chairman, Very often you find elderly male patients in Ghana above 40years complaining of a feeble urinary stream, hesitancy, dribbling, having to urinate frequently and urgently, feeling that they can’t empty their bladder completely and loss of libido.

These observations are usually on the increase whilst little or no effort is made to raise awareness for early detection and treatment. Eventually in Ghana, persons who retire with prostate problems spend a significant amount of their time and money on care that may be terminal or more expensive

Mr. Chairman, this challenge in the fight against prostate cancer is a marathon, not a 100 meters, and if we’re going to beat it we need to break down the taboos and start talking. As a researcher, I had always thought that my health has always been important to me. When I was in the prime of my career, it was the most important thing. I was conscious of my diet and keeping myself in shape. I had to; other than a pair of running spikes, my physical and mental fitness was all I had – my career depended on it. Unbeatable; indestructible; that’s what I wanted to be, and I believed I was.

As am still aging and researching into the disease, my diet is still vital, but I’ve come to realize that no matter how well I eat or how fit I am, I am not indestructible – nobody is including Vegetarians. But aside that there are defense measures I  can take and arming myself with knowledge is by far the most important

Mr. Chairman, Cancer is a word, not a sentence. Cancer is a verb in black community, not a noun. Time is shortening. But every day  I challenge this cancer to find its causes and potential cure using diverse modalities and survival for patients with better national policies and ultimate victory for me.

I realized that youbeat cancer by how you live, where you live and in the manner in which you live and as I research this I realized that there is something we can learn from the elephant.  The elephant never get cancer. We are made to believe that cancer is a genetic disease partly because of some genes. Genes accounts for only 5 to 10percent so what actually is the problem? Are these genes also the causes of cancers?

Mr. Chairman, Prostate problems in men are happening to more and more of us and at an earlier age than before. Men in their 30s, 40s and 50s are now demonstrating prostate problems symptoms, and this was very rare a generation ago.

Even if you think you don’t have prostate problems now, they could be building if you are not following good prostate habits and good health habits in general. The earlier you can adopt healthy prostate habits, the much greater the chances of avoiding conditions later on.

Prostate problems in men don’t just appear one day. Even though it seemed that way to me when my Dad woke up in the middle of the night completely unable to pee, I know now that it was brewing inside for quite a while. That night was like a left hook from somewhere, and I didn’t even know he was in a fight!

Think about it for a moment — do you really think disease just strikes out of the blue? Or do we play a huge part in the:

Choices we make daily (e.g., food, body care and household products and cooking methods)toxins we ingest from our contaminated food supplyemotional stresses on our minds and bodies inoculations, antibiotics, and pharmaceuticals we have taken over a lifetime quality of the water we consume every day bad health habits and lack of exercise we accumulate over time and many other daily decisions we make that impact us whether we are aware or not of their health consequences?

Well, if you think it just strikes you and “woe is me,” then this information will challenge your viewpoint.

If you do accept the premise that you play a huge part, then you have taken the first big step. You are on the path to acceptance and responsibility, excellent starting points. If embraced, you will be able to renew and revitalize yourself.

Mr. Chairman. To me it is no mystery why we have such sky-high rates of prostate conditions. We have, by design and negligence, allowed our food and environment to become so toxic that disease is the body healthy response to the onslaught

Illness can be a blessing if you look for the gifts of increased awareness and self-growth through the acceptance of your ultimate responsibility for your health. Now you have a chance to change the conditions that caused your prostate problems and heal. You have a choice!

Disease happens when the body tries to protect itself from further damage by concentrating toxins and pollutants and other excesses in a less vital organ or area of the body so that the body can still carry on.

The prostate, a deep-inside organ, is vulnerable to toxins just like the breast or uterus in women. The concentration of toxins in the prostate can result in any of the prostate diseases. Add to this the unhealthy habits of eating poor quality foods, little to no exercise and our sedentary lifestyles and you have a clear understanding of causes.

Three Basic Prostate Problems in Men

There are three basic diseases and prostate problems in men: enlargement, infection, and cancer. The technical names for these are:

Enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

Prostatitis

Prostate cancer

What is BPH?

BPH is a non-cancerous growth of the prostate gland. This now bigger prostate squeezes the urethra pee tube that it surrounds, causing a whole range of symptoms and prostate problems in men from very mild to extreme.

When the Prostate grows larger, it presses against the urethra like a clamp on a garden hose. The bladder wall becomes thicker and irritated. The bladder begins to contract more often even when it contains small amounts of urine, causing more frequent urination. As the prostate grows, it applies more pressure to the urethra. Eventually, the bladder weakens and loses the ability to empty itself, and so begins a whole range of uncomfortable to painful symptoms.

The extreme version is called acute urinary retention—when you are unable to pee at all. It is the most painful of the symptoms and can be relieved by the insertion of a catheter. If acute urinary retention is unaddressed, death can result in about two days.

It is possible to have prostate enlargement and prostate cancer at the same time, but having BPH does not increase your chances of developing prostate cancer. It is very rare to have both conditions.

Most men with BPH have minor symptoms initially, but with time the symptoms can and do get worse. Here is what you should look out for:

Dribbling at the end of urinating

Inability to urinate (acute urinary retention)

Incomplete emptying of the bladder

Unable to voluntarily control urination (incontinence)

Needing to urinate two or more times per night (nocturia)

Pain with urination or bloody urine (can be infection)

Slowed or delayed start of the urinary stream

Very frequent urination

Straining to urinate

Strong and sudden urge to urinate

Weak urine stream

FUNCTION

The location of the prostate in males is simple. It sits just below the bladder behind the pubic bone. It provides the channel for urine to escape from the bladder right through the prostate and, at the same, time plays a big part in the male reproductive system. Why?

The prostate location is there for a reason… it connects to the testicles and thus allows sperm to travel out of the testes through the two tubes called the Vas Deferens.

To exit the tubes, sperm has to enter and pass through the back of the prostate gland. The sperm picks up more fluids there for protection on the journey out the penis.

The location of the prostate serves an additional function. Attached to the prostate are the prostate erection nerves. These are the trigger points to “get it up” when stimulation from the brain is transmitted through the nerves. Lo and behold you get an erection!

If the location of these nerves was not exactly there, then no erection could happen and our species would have died out ages ago.

The prostate location also enables men to access the so-called male G-spot. Because it can be reached indirectly by pressing on the perineum area (between the base of the penis and anus), one can with practice control or stop ejaculations. Masters of the technique can even prolong male orgasm this way.

We will have more to say about male G-spot stimulation later. It can be accessed through the anus just as in a digital rectal examination. Of course, if it is done with overt sexual stimulation and relaxed and expert entry, then it can be a highly pleasurable prostate massage known as prostate milking. More later…

The prostate also removes toxins from the semen and sperm. This makes it crucial for men’s health. Toxins can cause many of the prostate problems symptoms that now plague the modern western man.

The toxins can cause prostate cancer or enlarged prostate symptoms that can swell the prostate and restrict or stop the flow of urine out the urethra tube. Yikes! No fun.

Causes of prostate cancer and statistics in Africa.

Mr .Chairman. There are three key established risk factors for prostate cancer, aging, heredity and race. But as a researcher, I realized the disease cancer is a complex one with diverse schools of thought. Some of these risk factors in books are only theoretical risk factors because there are people in these ris group who will not get the disease and those who are not in it will get the disease. In fact, I realized that, no body holds monopoly on what causes disease and treatment.  The subject is the most controversial subject in the medical or urological world today.

With my extensive research into prostate cancer in men of West African descent especially Ghanaian men, these are the probable causes of prostate cancer or disease in Ghanaian men.

The statistics on the disease in the black community is worrisome. According to the Prostate Cancer UK, 1 in 4 black men will get the disease in their lifetime.  In explaining this, according to the charity, “Black men are more likely to get prostate cancer than men of other ethnicities. It’s really important that black men know about this. We’ve been looking at how we can explain this risk in a clear way that men can relate to – this will help us raise awareness of prostate cancer and help men understand their risk. We’ve worked out that 1 in 4 black men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives.”

Mr. Chairman,   Politics is like finding cure for cancer. It is not luxury. It is a human need. That is why no one should use this need for his or her selfish interest. There is something wrong when the people you are serving are dying of this need. It is time African political leaders rise up to help fight the disease.  It is time to stage an intervention, no matter how uncomfortable the subject matter or the cost of intervention.

I am urging the nation Nigeria and Africa to join the fight against Prostate cancer by pressing on the government to implement special policy to address this.  I know that others will do anything to avoid awkward subjects, but we also know that cancer cannot be ignored. By shining a light on this serious issue with a bit of gentle humour, I hope more Nigerians will be aware of their own risk and join us in the fight to stop cancer being a killer. The light has to be shifted on the de facto and de jure of cancers.

National Cancer day in Nigeria will go a long way to help inform the population about the disease. This project will also provide a better platform for the government to let the general public be aware of the effort the government is taking to help in raising awareness of the disease and for the first of its kind in the history of the country for a concerned government to tackle cancer issue.

I think it is time for establishment of a national cancer foundation in Nigeria by this current government. This will also provide the needed national policies on cancer interventions to help save the lives of those suffering from the disease and those concerned about the disease. The cases of increasing cancer incidence and mortality rates in the country is worrisome and needs a strong force to help shape and campaign for the ordinary Nigerian . We need a strong and united force to pressurize the government to help address this urgent need.In  Africa  some  of  the  epidemiological  studies  have  revealed  the  following  incidences   of   the   disease:   Ghana   >200/100,000,   Nigeria   127/100,000   and   Cameroun  130/100,000

Mr. Chairman, prostate cancer is more aggressive in black men when diagnosed with the disease partly due to some biochemical and other factors.

Cancer differs by race; hence there is the need for cancers to be addressed as such. Nigeria needs a comprehensive cancer policy to address this racial disparity.

Our research has revealed some important Issues to be addressed as a nation. Poor data quality, inadequate cancer research, weak health infrastructure, extensive patronage of traditional Medicine with lack of professionals with the scientific knowledge in these facilities, low public awareness, ignorance among patients, lack of organized and effective cancer screening, inadequate health professionals and public attitude, Distrust in the medical sector as a whole,  fear of side effect of conventional treatments , lack of  right treatment information are some of the obstacles confronting cancer control in Nigeria and Africa entirely

Cancer is not an equal opportunity disease and we believe that unless we tackle the primary prevention of cancer, i.e. stopping cancer before it starts, we are unlikely to see any improvement in the cancer situation in Ghana.

Disease triggers when the body tries to protect itself from further damage by concentrating toxins, pollutants and excesses from less vital Organ to other part so that the body can still carry on.

Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size.

I sincerely hope this is a great opportunity to include the environmental and occupational risk factors for cancer into new cancer plans…without addressing these confounding risk factors, we can only look forward to a cancer forever future

The 1 in 4 lifetime risk statistic was worked out using information about men recorded as ‘Black African’, ‘Black Caribbean’ and ‘Black other‘. “We did not include ‘Black mixed’ as there was not enough data about this group in the records”.

What do they mean by risk?

Mr. Chairman, According to the charity in general about 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime.  For black men, their risk is double (1 in 4).

This is a man’s lifetime risk of getting prostate cancer.

Lifetime risk means the risk that someone has of being diagnosed with the disease at some point during their life.

“We know that people find lifetime risk a clear way of understanding their chances of getting a disease. So we decided to work out black men’s lifetime risk of getting prostate cancer”.

My research on what is accounting for the high prostate diseases in Ghana and Africa are:

The massive toll of stress in our lives;

Our sedentary lifestyle combined with lack of enough exercise;

Terrible diets of chemicalized denatured non-nutritious toxic foods;

The everyday use of toxic bodycare and household products;

Exposure to excessive environmental toxins from conception onwards;

Lack of sunlight and vitamin D.

inherited weaknesses and disposition

Our diets

Too much carbohydrate foods

Too much air-condition depriving us of vitamin D

Late eating

Less fruits and vegetable

Too much sugar in our foods

Increased in salaries making some men think that eating westernized foods is the ideal way to show riches

Our women’s bad cooking practices is also a cause and lack of knowledge in reading food labels

Improper acid/alkaline balance

Our lifestyle and lack of exercise

Harmful habits

Too much sitting position

Toxic build-ups

Lack of enough sunlight

Not enough oxygen

Vaccines, medications and too many antibiotics

Microwaved food

Hormone imbalances and natural hormonal changes

Not enough safe sex between couples or committed partners

Sexually Transmitted diseases

Poor sleep and not enough sleep

Poor water quality and air pollution

Poor depleted soil robbing us of nutrition

Skin color

Lack of government will power to fight cancer is also another risk factor

Radiations

Our farmers lack of knowledge on good agricultural practices and the crave for money resulting in growing cheap food stuffs

All of these causes of prostate problems play a crucial role in whether or not you will suffer from an enlarged prostate, prostatitis or cancer.

Inherited Weaknesses and Disposition- Is prostate cancer genetic Disease

Mr. Chairman, Cancer is often misunderstood by even the most respected medical professionals in the world. This is because some even believed that people get cancer like the same way they would catch cold or bacterial infection. But in reality, every cell has the ability to be cancerous, and a variety of factors can prompt a cell to do so. And while most Oncologists (and even leading cancer associations) consider cancer a genetic disease, I realized that this is not entirely true.

Cancer, therefore, occurs when genes within a cell lose their ability to regulate that cell’s growth. These disobedient cells don’t know how to stop multiplying or die. But all cells have the potential to lose this ability, meaning any cell can cancer at any time, depending on the environment it finds itself!

I know people may be wondering and asking if cancer is unavoidable? No. The choice to die without disease is ours to make, right now. But trying to live our entire life cancer-free seems like a pretty formidable goal.

Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the visible size.

When we are born, we came into the world with a unique gift from our parents. We inherit a constitution, our basic fundamental health core, which combines the DNA of both parents. The quality of their health determines our health foundation. You can have a strong constitution or a weak one and everything in between.

We see this in people all the time. Some are gifted with strong healthy physiques and constitution while others are less well-off and must fight for their health.

The quality of the food and lifestyle and stress conditions of our mothers while we were in the womb thus plays a big part in our overall health. These factors are major in determining our constitution: whether we are blessed with a gift or burdened with a challenge.

So does whether or not we were breast fed, as breast milk is the ideal food for babies not cow’s milk which is meant for a calf. Cow’s milk has way too much protein for a new baby and creates many problems later in life.

Our day-to-day diets and habits determine our health condition. If you combine a weak constitution with weak health conditions created by our choices as we move onwards in life, then you have a ripe combination for many diseases and often very serious ones. This is especially true for prostate diseases because of the accumulation of toxins in the prostate.

 

Take the strong constitution type who seems to never get sick and can abuse his body for decades by poor diet and lifestyle choices. Suddenly at age 48 or 54, he gets a massive heart attack. His daily condition finally overcame his powerful gifts of a strong constitution.

Thus what we were given from our parents and what we do with it creates our health conditions, our disposition to disease in general and to prostate disease in particular.

In the case of the prostate, men can inherit a weak constitution in that area of the body. This does not mean you are doomed to prostate diseases. It just means that you are more prone than others and will have to make changes if you want prostate health. This is the case of black men and we can reverse it!

Mr. Chairman, For instance, my father had an enlarged prostate or BPHand also diabetic, so if I get that too but much earlier in life than him,  that will be my combination of weaker constitution and my poor diet of many decades, some of the key causes of prostate problems, including an enlarged prostate.

So use your daily habits to create a stronger health condition and a healthy natural prostate. Remove as many of the causes of prostate problems as you can. In time good habits will affect your constitution and make it healthier. We replace all our cells every seven years. You can thus rebuild your body over time at the cellular level to give you real health by the daily choices you make and have control over.

This is the case of the elephant and why it’s never get cancer.

One recent newsworthy example of gene copy number involves elephants’ resistance to cancer. Cancer results when cells accumulate changes in their DNA that cause them to grow and divide uncontrollably. Therefore, one would expect that the more cells an organism has or the longer it lives, the more opportunities it has to accumulate such changes in one or more of its cells, leading to tumor formation. Yet this is not the case: large animals, such as whales and elephants, do not have increased cancer rates compared to smaller animals (a finding known as Peto’s paradox).

So why don’t elephants die of cancer nearly as often as humans, even though they have about 100 times as many cells? Working independently, researchers from the University of Utah and the University of Chicago recently discovered what may cause part of this phenomenon: elephants have an abnormally high number of copies of a key tumor suppressor gene, TP53. In fact, while humans have only 2 copies of this gene, the researchers found that Asian elephants have at least 30 copies, and African elephants have at least 40!

Did you know that according to the World Health Organization the United States has been ranked the 37th healthiest nation in the world? Doesn’t this seem extremely low for a nation as advanced in science and technology as the USA? How has this discrepancy been created?

Too easily — through poor nutrition and lack of sufficient exercise. In general, Americans place their physical wellbeing after their “personal, financial, social and ego-based gains.” But truly, if you don’t have good health, then you don’t have anything at all because how can you enjoy these gains if you’re not well? Let’s assume that we agree on putting health and fitness first.

Aging Is Not the Cause

Mr. Chairman, as we age we accumulate more and more toxins, which affects our hormone levels and sensitive prostate tissues.

This is why it appears that aging is the cause of prostate problem, but that is fallacy! Aging is not the cause! It is just an observation or correlation. Correlation is not causation!

But that is NOT the natural state of men. Look at other non-modern cultures that are not exposed to what we are and you will see a dramatic difference in rates of prostate disease — their rate is just a tiny percentage of ours. Tragically, the prostate disease rates are increasing.

Prostate cancer screening

Mr. Chairman, the Prostate gland produces Prostate specific Antigen, PSA for several beneficial purposes and not necessary as a response to cancer. It is organ specific and not tumor specific.

The PSA test is only just to know your risk of prostate cancer or if there is something wrong with your prostate; simply say prostate risk test.

There is also a debate as to who actually discovered the PSA test but irrespective of who discovered the test ; how can we improved on the test; is my concerned for black men to reduce the high mortality rate.

One name that normally pops up for the PSA test is believed to be Professor Ablin. He revealed that “in approving the procedure, the Food and Drug Administration relied heavily on a study that showed testing could detect 3.8 percent of prostate cancers, which was a better rate than the standard method, a digital rectal exam.

He also said that “there is no PSA level that definitely indicates that prostate cancer is present”; in a nutshell there is no cut off point!

“Still, 3.8 percent is a small number,” he observes. “Nevertheless, especially in the early days of screening, men with a reading over four nanograms per milliliter were sent for painful prostate biopsies. If the biopsy showed any signs of cancer, the patient was almost always pushed into surgery, intensive radiation or other damaging treatments.”

Prostate cancer is a tricky disease because the cancer grows so slowly. A great many men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer will die of something else—long before the symptoms of the cancer catch up with them. As Ablin points out , because PSA testing is pervasive, “American men have a 16 percent lifetime chance of receiving a diagnosis of prostate cancer, but only a 3 percent chance of dying from it.”

This is why, in many cases, doctors recommend “watchful waiting.” Keep an eye on the cancer, but don’t treat it unless there is evidence that it is growing but this approach is also  a form of gambling for black men.

In my practice, I have seen men with normal values with prostate cancer and others with high values without cancer. I have also seen men with normal prostate volume on ultrasound with high PSA level and later confirmed to be cancer. I have also seen men with grossly enlarged prostate volume on ultrasound with high PSA values; proven to be a non-cancerous case after biopsy.

The current rough debate over the commonly used PSA blood test to screen for prostate cancer, the cancer with lots of disparities that affect black men than other race, stems from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s recommendation to discontinue PSA screening. The debate is pitting physician against physician, cancer advocacy groups against health care insurance companies, and leaving men with massive questions about what to do about their lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer

The Task Force’s recommendation is based on its review of medical literature that concluded that PSA screening leads to more unnecessary treatment complications than are justified by lives saved because of:

The problematic accuracy of the PSA test to detect cancer,

Medical complications caused by unnecessary follow-up procedures because the PSA test has false positives, and

Increasing pressures to slow the rate of increase of medical care

Mr. Chairman, I called the test now rather “Patient Stimulated Anxiety” because of the confusing almost the patients and the medical world.  Recently a new study reveals that PSA is produced in women with breast cancer (Mashkoor 2013) Fat men may have a low PSA and still have bad prostate cancer. In other words, excess weight (or maybe fat) can falsely lower PSA. ( Culp& Porter; 2009 )

Cycling can cause an increase of PSA by close to 10%. ( Mejak et al. 2013 ) PSA molecules are found 1 million times more in semen than in blood. Women also put out PSA after orgasms in their ejaculatory fluid. ( Wimpissinger et al. 2007 ) Medications such as statins (i.e. Lipitor), Thiazides diuretics (i.e. Hydrocholorthiazide) and NSAIDS (i.e. aspirin) lowers PSA ( Chang et al. 2010 ). Sex could also incrases the PSA and anything that massages the prostate gland could increase it.  So you have indepth knowledge before testing for PSA

Professor Richard J. Ablin is a research professor of immunobiology and pathology at the University Of Arizona College Of Medicine and the president of the Robert Benjamin Ablin Foundation for Cancer Research. He keeps lambasting the medical world for using the PSA for monetary gains.

On these controversies,do black men need separate prostate cancer screening and different treatment guidelines or rather focus on this foreign research?

Professor Ablin’s voice prompted my curiosity. I then happened upon the Robert B. Ablin Foundation for Cancer Research.

The Foundation is dedicated to Ablin’s father Robert who died of prostate cancer. On the surface it all fits together quite nicely; the discoverer of PSA, an interest in cancer, and a family member that dies of prostate cancer. But to the discerning eye of a researcher also in the field a glaring irony jumps off the website. I learn that Robert Ablin went into urinary retention (could not urinate) and upon evaluation was found to have metastatic prostate cancer in 1978. He died one year later of his disease. In other words, his prostate cancer quietly progressed extensively until it was found very late and only because he had voiding symptoms. The irony of this is that Robert Benjamin Ablin is the very person that would have benefited from a prostate screening and PSA that his son so vehemently detests. It is well recognized among urologic circles that if you diagnose prostate cancer when there are symptoms or as an asymptomatic palpable abnormality on rectal exam, you have diagnosed prostate cancer too late. Mr. Robert Ablin, the elder, is the very type of patient that I and other urologists are so diligently aware of diagnosing earlier today. Just as his touting his discovering the PSA repeatedly in the Times arouses suspicion, so too is another statement on the Ablin’s Foundation website.

The website states regarding Robert Ablin’s death,” This was in 1978, in an era of limited ability to diagnose prostate cancer. He was diagnosed in a late stage of his disease; he died one year later, in August 1979.”  Times have completely changednow. In 1978 Urologiststill recommended rectal exams in men at age 50 or older but only did biopsies, finger guided, on palpable nodules.

Robert Ablin presented well beyond a palpable nodule. Urinary retention suggests a prostate cancer that was locally extensive and the metastatic bone cancer that ultimately caused his death was asymptomatic. This is the rub that is prostate cancer and it is as true today as it was in Robert Ablin’s time. How do I know these things and yet I don’t know Robert Ablin? I have seen scores of Mr. Robert Ablin’s in my career. I have watched the whole agonizing process from an elevated PSA through death. I have seen and been with the families, and I have been to the funerals of their loved ones who have succumbed to prostate cancer. I have seen the face of prostate cancer in my patients and then…had to deal with it myself.  Other patient’s prostate cancers were found only because of an elevated PSA.

I really did not understand the dual nature of prostate cancer until I learned of one patient. He was found to have prostate cancer in his mid-fifties and died three years later. Then a friend of mine, whose father was doctor, was diagnosed in September and died in June. Mr. Ablin’s father too unfortunately fell into this category of patients, diagnosed too late to cure. Is the PSA perfect? No. Has it saved lives? Yes. In time we will find a marker that will indicate those who we should biopsy and whose cancer kills quickly, but until we do, the PSA is the best we have and remains an invaluable tool for the family physician and urologist.

If I meet the Professor now I havethis question for Richard Ablin Ph.D. the discoverer of the PSA. If it were 1974, about four years before your father presented with metastatic prostate cancer, would you want your father to be screened yearly with a rectal exam and PSA even if he had no symptoms or family history of prostate cancer.

The Right Place for the PSA Test

Mr. Chairman, Prostate-specific antigen testing does have a place. After treatment for prostate cancer, for instance, a rapidly rising score indicates a return or what I call “prostate cancer born again “of the disease. And men with a family history of prostate cancer should probably get tested regularly. If their score starts skyrocketing, it could mean cancer.

On cancer Treatment

Mr. Chairman, Prostate cancer treatment is a choice and diverse treatment modalities available to the patient.  You have to be proactive on your treatment choice based on the stage of the cancer. There are both conventional ones, surgery, Brachytherapy, Hormonal treatment, chemotherapy etc.

Mr. Chairman, Prostate Cancer is a very cunning, easygoing disease in black men. To defeat it, we need a new and powerful mode of attack in dealing with black men when diagnosed with the disease.  Especially the ones that come back over and over again, the highly invasive and drug-resistant ones, the ones that defy medical treatment, even when we throw our best drugs at them.

As a clever disease, there are some forms of cancer, which, fortunately, we’ve learned how to address relatively well with known and established drugs and surgery. But there are some forms of cancer that don’t respond to these approaches, and the tumor survives or comes back, even after an onslaught of drugs. To deal with this we must find out how our body works-black men!

We can think of these very aggressive forms of cancer in black men as kind of super villains in a funny manuscript. The best supervillains don’t just fight superheroes. They hold up a mirror, presenting a tantalizing vision of a super-id unleashed. No wonder we love the bad guys so much: They get to do everything that the good guys would never let us do.

They’re clever, they’re adaptable, and they’re very good at staying alive. And, like most supervillains these days, their superpowers come from a genetic mutation. The genes that are modified inside these tumor cells can enable and encode for new and unimagined modes of survival, allowing the cancer cell to live through even our best chemotherapy treatments.

One example is a trick in which a gene allows a cell, even as the drug approaches the cell, to push the drug out, before the drug can have any effect. Imagine — the cell effectively spits out the drug. This is just one example of the many genetic tricks in the bag of our supervillain, cancer. All due to mutant genes.

So, we have a supervillain with incredible superpowers. And we need a new and powerful mode of attack. Actually, we can turn off a gene. So to fight this disease Physicians, charities and researchers must have open mind and use diverse angles to fight it.  It is like casting out demons in a human. The preacher man needs high authority to do this anything apart from this could spell doom to the Preacher man.

So Doctors should possess a high authority to be able to cast out this demon if it affects the human being.  We need integrative approach to deal with this incredible superpowers possess by this demon called Prostate cancer in black men.

For many years, scientists have been very excited about how they can apply gene blockers in medicine this is what they looking at –personalize medicine

But, there is a problem as this from the conventional angle is synthetic which work well inside the cell. But if it gets exposed to the enzymes that reside in our bloodstream or our tissues, it degrades within seconds. It has to be packaged, protected through its journey through the body on its way to the final target inside the cancer cell.

But there is one bigger obstacle we have to think about. In fact, it may be the biggest obstacle of all. How do we deploy this superweapon? I mean, every good weapon needs to be targeted; we have to target this superweapon to the supervillain cells that reside in the tumor.

But our bodies have a natural immune-defense system: cells that reside in the bloodstream and pick out things that don’t belong, so that it can destroy or eliminate them. And guess what? Conventional treatment is considered a foreign object. So they have to sneak their treatment past the tumor defense system. They have to get it passed this mechanism of getting rid of the foreign object by disguising it. Some cancer cells reject even the best chemotherapy!

The challenge is that the human body is more conversant with natural thing and sees any synthetic procedure as foreign material and has to use every means to fight against it.

So, here’s the new strategy, in Latvia researchers have found a new treatment which naturally occurring and is registered.  Virotherapy is emerging as a new wave in oncological treatments.  Rigvir® is the world’s first cancer virotherapy agent, the only one that is not genetically modified. Rigvir® has oncotropic and oncolytic (“seek” and “destroy”) properties selectively against cancer cells.  Once assimilated by the cancer cell, Rigvir® replicates in the cell which dies in the process.  Healthy cells are not affected like chemotherapy, resulting in no side effects and a high quality of life.

Rigvir® is an intensely studied live virus that has been shown to be non-replicative, i.e. it does not reproduce inside the human body nor does it transmit to others. While many pharmaceutical companies are working on the development of virotherapies, none of their engineered clinical candidates can boast of an effectiveness and safety profile anywhere close to that historically established for Rigvir®.

Rigvir® has passed all phases of clinical trials and is registered in Latvia as a prescription drug for the treatment of cancer. Rigvir® is an approved, state-sponsored medicine used by oncologists and sold in pharmacies in Latvia, and is also available through representatives in a few other countries.

Cancer virotherapy has a  very high therapeutic index, in some cases as  high  as  10,000:1  (meaning  that  10,000  tumor  cells  breakdown  for  every  affected  healthy  cell).      Chemotherapy  and  radiation,  however,  operate within narrow therapeutic windows where effectiveness cannot be divorced from the toxic effects. Cancer virotherapy triggers immune response while chemotherapy and radiation suppress it. This results in the faster and more effective elimination of cell breakdown toxic materials, whereas in the case of chemo and radiation the toxicity persists and impacts quality of life and survival.

Multiple  courses  of  cancer  virotherapy  can  induce  tumor  immunolo-gical regression that triggers apoptosis, or regulated cell death.  This process is suppressed in cancers. Cancer virotherapy can be applied both to local tumors and metastasized (systemic) tumors. Cancer virotherapy can be used as a synergistic drug before and after radical surgery to prevent the onset of metastases. Cancer virotherapy is extremely important for the treatment of tumors that are insensitive to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Cancer  virotherapy  when  used  in  combination  with  other  therapy  methods  in  oncology  (surgery,  chemo,  radiation,  hormone  therapy)  decreases the immunosuppressive effect caused by these methods.

Rigvir is not a conventional medicine; it is a form of natural medicine. But can we afford in Africa

Average cost of virotherapy in Latvia varies from $3,500 to $6,500.

In Ghana, we have establish the first Natural Medicine Research Lab to bring science into Natural Medicine, deal with the side effect of conventional medicine, formulate evidence based teas as preventive medicine and finding cure for the disease

There are also evidence based alternative remedies if you visit the right practitioner. But you need to follow some protocols to help you choose your treatment.

You need to be emotionally stable to make the best treatment choice for yourself.

2) Don’t rush. Your treatment choice will be a life changing decision. You have time.

3) Do your homework. See at least three physicians before choosing a treatment.

4) Take good notes. Better yet, bring along your spouse or any good note-taker.

5) Don’t feel pressured by anyone to rush or choose a treatment.

6) Listen to your family carefully. They love you, I know. But all they hear is the? C-word,?Not prostate cancer. It’s easy for them to think, let’s take it out. Maybe surgery is your best option, maybe it’s not.

7) ask your doctor whether you are a candidate for Active Surveillance. Most diagnosed prostate cancer is low-grade, which makes active surveillance a viable approach.

8) Keep a good record of your prostate cancer history, including your PSA history. Make it easy to open and print the documents as needed.

9) Hire Dr. Obu as your Prostate Cancer Planner. He will make the process simpler and clearer for you.

Can we prevent this?

Mr. Chairman, we know this from the cold spot areas like the Asian countries.  I embarked on a journey as a result of an invitation I received from a division one football club called Tanga FC in Ghana. I was very excited to receive such an invitation as the journey was my first experience to go to the northern sector to raise awareness on prostate cancer and offer free testing program there.

The Jungle Effect that is my research in Bolgatanga has the life-changing answers to these important questions, and many more.

Whether it’s the heart-healthy Bolgatanga diet, with its reliance on guinea fowl and others and it’s extremely high levels of omega-3s, the age-defying Bolgatanga diet and its emphasis on leaves, free range guinea fowl local chicken, cow and fish, or the other diets explored herein. Surprisingly, the clubs are fully packed and people blow alcohol yet they don’t get boozed easily this I realized partly because of the effect of the sun.

Bolgatanga free range Guinea Fowls provide a high dose of protein and all essential amino acids, good dose of vitamin A, vitamin B6 or pyridoxine, calcium, copper, iron in the form of heme, naicin or vitamin B3, phosphorus, potassium, tryptophan, zinc, and 60 to 75 mg of cholesterol. In Bolgatanga, surprisingly, cows are everywhere and also in their menu but these cows are free range ones likewise their chicken.

Unlike in Accra, the lifestyle and dieting is totally different. The craze for fast foods et al bombarded with artificial hormones graced everywhere. In fact, in Bolgatanga, the people don’t go overboard, they live within their means. For instance, I was giving my contact to someone and it was an MTN number quickly the person said “ Oh it is not Vodafone and I said why, “The people here in Bolga, we use health insurance number and I asked which one is that one and the person said Vodafone” so I was wondering whether Vodafone has a special package for the people in the north and they said anytime they buy Vodafone they double it for them and they can communicate on it for long hours so they termed it ‘health insurance’. So you see, they live within their means but not in Accra, people want to show off.

Do you really believe the claims that pesticides and preservatives are not harmful in small quantities? What about the cumulative effects? Could this be why we lose our health over time? Almost all supermarket food is toxic to your health. Hardly, I came across any Mall in Bolgatanga.

It just may take time before you notice prostate problems and most men will in due course have them. You see the Bolgatanga man is enjoying good prostate health but if these men now change their location for instance to Accra they will lose their good prostate health because they are going to be exposed to different lifestyle in Accra. This is what I called the ‘migration effect’ and risk of prostate disease likewise if any man moves from Accra and live in Bolga, he will also enjoy a good prostate health because he will adopt their way of life. This is also what I codenamed ‘Compensatory adaptation at its work’ our body is just a little bit like a computer, it does exactly what you tell it to do but not often how you want the computer to do. Humans program the computer and not the computer programming itself.

Look at our epidemics of disease from diabetes to heart ailments, from cancer to chronic illnesses to overweight problems to degenerative diseases. Most commercial food and fast foods are highly dangerous to you over time, causing major health problems and diseases. A prostate health diet is going in the other direction, non-commercial, slow foods, with immediate health benefits. You don’t have to wait to start to feel good!

There are highest rates of prostate disease occurring in those countries that eat the most animal fat and animal foods (which concentrate toxins up the food chain). There is also a problem with the food chain in the cities especially in Accra.

Poor food choices rob you of vitality and set the stage for a diseased body. It is just time that is needed for the effects to manifest…remember the poor frog who felt nothing until it was too late!

Every home in Bolgatanga is filled with Guinea Fowl so most often bars don’t even waste their time on guinea fowl as part of their menu. You see, Guinea Fowls are an excellent source of high quality protein and provide all essential amino acids. They are higher in protein and lower in saturated fats than red meats.

They provide a good dose of tryptophan, an amino acid that stimulates the production of serotonin having a calming effect on the body, contributes to a feeling of well-being which may alleviate depression, regulate mood, appetite, sleep/insomnia, blood clotting, wound healing, and muscle contraction; as well as cognitive functions including memory and learning.

They provide a good dose of vitamin A, vitamin that prevents night blindness, is needed for growth and cell development, maintains healthy skin, hair, and nails as well as gums, glands, bones, and teeth. May also prevent lung cancer.They provide a go`od dose of vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, vitamin that promotes protein metabolism, metabolism of carbohydrates and release of energy, proper nerve function, and synthesis of red blood cells.

They provide a good dose of calcium, mineral that builds strong bones and teeth, vital to muscle and nerve function, blood clotting, and metabolism. It also helps regulate blood pressure, prevent osteoporosis, and may help protect against colon cancer.

They provide a good dose of iron in the form of heme, needed to produce hemoglobin which transports oxygen throughout the body.

They provide a good dose of potassium, which gives a positive effect in lowering blood pressure. Also helps maintain fluid balance, promotes proper metabolism and muscle functions.

Guinea fowl, Adequate Sunlight and Prostate Cancer prevention in the Bolgatanga Diet.

Mr. Chairman, You see, the health of their prostate could be attributed to the selenium, and mineral that may help prevent prostate cancer and is found in guinea fowl. It also works with vitamin E to protect cell membranes from oxidative damage, free radicals. Oxidative stress account for over 70% degenerating disease in the world. This is the dark side of oxygen. Our cells do also rust like the way roofing sheet also rust so most of us once we are not getting the right nutrients we either rust inside or outside and our skins wrinkle also.

Amazingly Guinea fowl also provide a good dose of zinc, instrumental in metabolic action of enzymes, essential for growth and reproduction, support immune function. Zinc plays a key role in prostate health as the prostate gland contains zinc in high concentration and deficient of its plagued men to prostate conditions.

Guinea fowls provide a good dose of niacin, also known as vitamin B3, involved in DNA repair, and the production of steroid hormones in the adrenal gland. Niacin helps protect against pellagra, characterized by dermatitis, diarrhea, and mental disturbance. It is needed to metabolize energy, promote normal growth, and in large doses lowers cholesterol.

They provide a good dose of phosphorus, mineral that maintains strong bones and teeth, component of some enzymes, essential for proper metabolism.

They provide a good dose of copper that promotes iron absorption; essential in the production of blood cells, to connective tissue, nerve fibers, and skin pigment.

They provide a high dose of protein, necessary for the building and repair of body tissues, produces enzymes, hormones, and other substances the body uses. Regulates body processes, such as water balancing, transporting nutrients, and making muscles contract, keeps the body healthy by resisting diseases, and prevents one from becoming easily fatigued by producing stamina and energy. So you see how they are enjoying good health unlike you in Accra?

Of course, you in Accra don’t notice it as you are eating these disgusting foods. You may not even be aware what they contain until now. But little by little you are destroying your health, and could be soon looking for a prostate cancer diet.

And you will pay a price, either with a major disease or with a slowly deteriorating health for your elder years or an untimely death! Guaranteed.

So now the ‘Bolgatanga diet’ as I codenamed, free range cow meat, free range guinea fowl, free range local chicken, get adequate sunlight for Vitamin D, exercise, walk for healthy prostate health.

Others include supporting you prostate heath includes Tomatoes not tin ones, Watermelon, green tea and raw Hibiscus tea

On cancer charity

Mr. Chairman, Bogus charity collectors are a threat. Whether they drop bogus leaflets looking for donations, steal donations intended for legitimate charities or steal from textile recycling banks, they are cleaning up at the expense of charities that support the most marginalized in society.

It is an utter disgrace that so much of the money people generously give is going to feed large charity machines, which are often characterized by indecent overheads and salaries, aggressive fundraising, and bloated marketing and publicity departments; resulting in questionable levels of charitable spending. Supporters of this noble charity are secure as their monies will be use judiciary and good accountability will be provide to the general public through the print

Mr. Chairman, I entreat the Board of Directors of this charity to use donors funds judiciously and account to the people when necessary to build donors confidence.

In Ghana, most of the time, the brains behind these charities are only interested in money and not the work per se. There is so much infighting amongst charities who are supposed to address the disease. A whole financial institution has to end their corporate social responsibility because of some of these problems. At the end some of these cancer charities have become more cancerous than the disease cancer itself they are fighting.

The Cancer Fighters’ Creed

Mr. Chairman, We can make Nigeria and Africa a better one for us. My goal is to create a model of national recognition in ending cancer disparity.

The cancer problem is a central issue to all concerned Africans with unacceptably high mortality rates.

So why don’t we Let us raise little David high enough to challenge Golliath, challenge the System and challenge the status quo. The cure for cancer is not a luxury, it is a human need. No man should use this need to profit for their personal gains. Something is wrong when we let people die for money and ignorance.

THIS is my cancer pledge and you can also do it so we can fight together.

I am fighting for cancer freedom, one chest at a time.

I stand for the end of cancer crisis, the end of suffering and the end of cancer disparity

I fit in this world as man, of all kinds, shapes and sizes.

I share one important value.

In this noisy cancer world, I want you to hear the truth.

I want to be clear what being diagnosed as a cancer patient is about.

I honor a great person, that’s who we are…that what we are about.

We honor ourselves and those who love us, those who take care of us, those who only know us from where we started from as a nation 60years on.

Our core value is that we believe truth comes from experience.

We believe that concerned Ghanaians want to end cancer suffering, and help us fight it

We honor great people…people who are living and those who are dead.

Those who use their brains and resources to end cancer

So I can live better.

So I can keep enjoying life.

All of us, keep enjoying life.

I end my presentation with this Ayuvedic saying “If diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. If diet is correct, medicine is of no need”. On this note, May everyone be happy, May there never be a disharmony anywhere in the prostate and May we live long like the Men in the Asian Countries. Thank you

About Efo Korsi Senyo

Efo Korsi Senyo has over 4 years experience working as investigative journalist with Awake Africa. He is the Head of Awake Investigates. Connect with him via senyo@awakeafrica.com or WhatsApp: +233249155003

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