Featured Headline Health News Nigeria Special Report

Prostate Cancer, all you need to know

Cryotherapy is another method of treating prostate cancer as it freezes the cancerous cells within the prostate. Photo: cancerimages

Prostate cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the prostate gland, which is a small walnut-shaped gland located below the bladder in men. The prostate gland produces seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.

Prostate cancer occurs when the cells in the prostate gland start to grow uncontrollably, forming a tumor. It is one of the most common types of cancer in men, but it usually grows slowly and may not cause significant symptoms in the early stages.


Some common symptoms of prostate cancer includes difficulty urinating, weak urine flow, blood in the urine or semen, erectile dysfunction, pain in the hips, back, or chest, and frequent urination, especially at night. However, these symptoms can also be caused by other non-cancerous conditions.

Prostate cancer is typically diagnosed through a combination of a digital rectal exam (DRE), a blood test called prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, and a biopsy.

Treatment options for prostate cancer depend on various factors such as the stage of cancer, the patient’s overall health, and personal preferences. Treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, or watchful waiting (active surveillance).

It occurs when abnormal cells in the prostate gland begins to grow uncontrollably, forming a tumor and If left untreated can spread to other parts of the body, leading to serious health complications.

History and Statistics of Prostate cancer in Nigeria

prostate cancer in Nigeria could be traced to 1973 when a urologists from the University College Hospital, Ibadan discovered a low but yet increasing incidence of prostate cancer in the country.

Also a poll conducted by a health research institute, Lancet oncology, revealed that Nigeria carries highest number of men with prostate cancer in West Africa. According to the poll, prostate cancer is the most common and most deadly cancer with 32·8 cases and 16·3 deaths per 100 000 men.

Causes of Prostate Cancer

The exact causes of prostate cancer have not been fully ascertained but several risk factors have been identified. One of the risk factors is age, with the cancer appearing prevalent in older men particularly in those over the age of 65.

Men with a family history of prostate cancer such as those whose close relations like a father or brother has been diagnosed, are also at a higher risk.

Ones diet could result to prostate cancer. A diet high in red meat and low in fruits and vegetables may increase the risk of prostate cancer.

Changes in hormone levels, particularly the male hormone testosterone, may also play a role in the development of prostate cancer.

Symptoms of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer often does not produce noticeable symptoms. However, as the cancer progresses, symptoms may appear at the urinary tract causing difficulty in urinating, weak urine flow, frequent urination especially at night and a feeling of incomplete emptying of the bladder.

Other symptoms includes presence of blood in urine or semen, difficulty in achieving or maintaining an erection and painful ejaculation.

It is imperative to note that these symptoms can also be caused by non-cancerous conditions, such as an enlarged prostate or urinary tract infections.


Prostate cancer is typically diagnosed through a combination of medical history review, physical examination, and various tests, including digital rectal exam (DRE) where a doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel for abnormalities in the prostate gland.

Another method of diagnosis is Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, biopsy whereby a small sample of prostate tissue is removed and examined under a microscope to confirm the presence of cancer. Imaging tests is another form of style for detection and its requires using ultrasound, MRI, or CT scans to determine the extent and stage of the cancer.

In addition to this, staging helps determine the extent and aggressiveness of the cancer, which is crucial for deciding on an appropriate treatment plan.

Treatment Options

The choice of treatment for prostate cancer depends on various factors, including the cancer’s stage, grade, the patient’s overall health, and personal preferences.

Treatment options may include active surveillance, surgery, Radiation therapy, Hormone therapy, Chemotherapy, as well as Immunotherapy and targeted therapy.

A pathologist looks for cell abnormalities and “grades” the tissue sample from 1 to 5


Regular exercise is one major way to prevent prostate cancer. Exercise improves ones overall health, maintains weight and improves your mood. It is pertinent to make it a daily routine.

Maintaining a good and balanced diet is also an effective way to tackle the disease. Eating food with plenty vitamins such as vegetables and grains are essential if one must stay free from prostate cancer.

It is very important also to maintain to good and stable weight. Obesity and excessive weight can increase ones risk to prostate cancer.

Also, regular checkups and interaction with medical doctors are major ingredients to preventing prostate cancer as it pave way for early detection and instant medical attention where necessary.

Prostate cancer is a significant health concern for men, but early detection and advances in treatment options have improved the prognosis for many patients. Regular check-ups, screenings, and awareness of risk factors can contribute to early diagnosis and better outcomes.

If ones loved one are at risk for prostate cancer or experiencing any concerning symptoms, such person must immediately consult a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation and personalized treatment plan. With timely intervention, prostate cancer can often be effectively managed or even cured.

Writing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade; Editing by Muzha Kucha and Julian Osamoto