…Prostate cancer also beats breast and cervical cancer
World Cancer Day is an annual occasion on the global calendar the entire world band together in the fight against the global cancer epidemic. It takes place every year on 4 February. The day aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer and pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action against the disease.
Though advances in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer are paying off, and increased funding could benefit prostate cancer. Recently, the Ghana News Agency reported that about 60,000 cancer cases are recorded annually. This was also attributed to report made known to the media by Dr Joel Yarney, the Head of the Medical Centre for Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. In another report in the Daily guide, Seventy percent of cancer deaths in Ghana could be prevented if healthy lifestyles are adopted and early detection is made, this was attributed to DrEfuaCommeh of the Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Programme, Ghana Health Service (GHS). DrCommeh indicated that of the 16,000 new cancer cases recorded yearly in the country, more than 44 percent results in deaths.
“Data from the Ghana Health Service shows that 3052 cases of cervical cancer were recorded in 2015 out of which 1556 died, representing 51 percent, breast cancer also recorded 2260 cases with 1021 deaths, representing 45 percent, prostate cancer has 912 cases being recorded with 680 deaths, representing 75 percent.
Liver cancer had the highest fatality rate of 97 percent, claiming 1,856 lives out of 1923 cases recorded with 1,000 childhood cancers being recorded,” she said
I break down the findings for urgent national attention.
More men die of prostate cancer annually than Breast and Cervical cancer according to data obtained from GHS 2015
Only 232 men are able to survive prostate cancer in Ghana when diagnosed compared to breast and cervical cancer.
Liver cancer has poor survival rate in Ghana according to data from GHS 2015.
Only 67 Ghanaians are able to survive liver cancer in general; yet no awareness
With liver cancer only 3% are able to survive it, 49% survive cervical cancer, 55% survive breastcancer and only 25% also do survive prostate cancer. This is very worrying as the country itself has no well-defined national cancer register to be able to collate all the figures. This assessment is based on the Ghana Health Service data in 2015 published in the Daily guide.
National Intervention Needed
From the statistics, though there have been public awareness on cancers, it appears the nation has lost control on the cancer situation on the mortality rate and urgent national attention is needed to address this. Interestingly, the president, Nana AddoDanquahAkuffo government in their 2016 manifesto promised a special cancer policy, the nation is yet to see any green light. The government in their manifesto promised to recognize the increasing incidence of cancers (childhood cancers, breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate and other cancers) as a national problem, establish centers at all levels of our healthcare delivery system for screening, diagnosis, early detection and prevention of these cancers, paid for under the restructured and revitalized NHIS. It is time for the government to take action on this campaign promise. Ghana needs a national cancer foundation to start addressing this cancer situation.
The author of this article is urgently calling on the government to us a matter of urgency constituents a committee to start addressing the cancer situation in the country.
Raphael Nyarkotey Obu: Da Vinci college of Holistic Medicine, Larnaca city, Cyprus