Urologist laments increase in prostate cancer in Nigeria

* Cautions patients against late presentation of cases

Stephen Olufemi Oni, Ilorin

A Professor of Urology in the Faculty of Clinical Science, University of Ilorin, Ademola Alabi Popoola, has stressed the need for people having challenges with passing urine or having blood in the urine to see their urologists without delay in order to avoid late presentation, saying peeing is supposed to be peaceful.

The Professor of Urology stated this while delivering the University’s 250th Inaugural Lecture, themed: “That All May Pee In Peace”.

Prof. Popoola, who lamented that the burden of prostate cancer is on the increase and many Nigerian men would be affected, said early detection and commencement of treatment for the deadly ailment can lead to cure, adding that institutional screening for prostate cancer should be carried out for all men that are 45 years and above, and also for men with family history of prostate cancer, which he said, should start about 40 years of age.

He said: “The process of making and passing urine is complex and is an essential part of life. Challenges with peeing affect from the new born to the elderly, and also affect both sexes in various ways. It is often taken for granted , but challenges with passing take peace away from the individuals and loved ones, the challenges may also take away life.

“Globally, efforts are being made to make urination peaceful through various researches and studies. Privileged individuals are therefore encouraged to support the University and the Hospital endeavours in research and provision of facilities for people with urinary problems. There are many projects that need support.”

According to him, the major cause of difficulty with passing urine is prostate gland enlargement, adding that prostate enlargement could be benign or or cancerous. “The enlargement of the prostatic enlargement occurs with increasing incidence in the various age groups from 50 years and above. Prostate enlargement is the primary reason while peeing becomes peace less in men above 50 years of age. The symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland, whether benign or cancerous, may be inseparable, and evaluation by a urologist is needed to differentiate these,” he added.

Realising the heavy financial burden on patients with urological malignancies, the Inaugural Lecturer urged government to particularly recognise the health burden posed by kidney failure and support the care of these patients and also develop a workable model of helping these patients.

He said: “The comprehensive care of patients with urological malignancies should be covered by the National Health Insurance Authority. The National Health Insurance Authority should cover screening, evaluation and treatment of prostate cancer and other cancers affecting all ages and gender.

“For effective management and higher quality care of various health conditions, chronic medical conditions should be managed in specialised units by specialists trained in the field, Nigeria has now developed to that extent, the brain drain notwithstanding.”

He stressed the need for government to make available research funding to support the genitourinary problems including kidney failure, while expediting action to build the proposed Urology and nephrology centre in the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), saying this has been on the drawing board for a long time.

Prof. Popoola also called on the federal government to establish a Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine Centre in Ilorin, pointing out that there is none in the whole of the North Central Region (apart from Abuja)


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