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Foundation raises awareness on cancer

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( NAN) Mr Runcie Chidebe, the Executive Director, Project Pink Blue, a health based NGO, has attributed rising prostate cancer mortality in Nigeria to low screening level and inadequate awareness.

Chidebe made this known to newsmen on Thursday in Abuja while speaking on the foundation’s research on “Prostate Cancer Awareness, Health Behaviours and Attitudes in Nigeria”.

He noted that a report from WHO identified cancer as a critical public health problem, saying that Nigeria is a major contributor to the overall cancer burden, with 115,950 new cases of cancer and 70,327 cancer deaths in 2018.

According to him, cancer incidence in Nigeria is on the increase.

He further disclosed that prostate cancer was the third leading cause of deaths with 13,078 new cases or 29 .1 per cent and 5,806 deaths in 2018.

“The Age Standardised incidence Rates (ASR) for prostate cancer was 32.8 new cases, per 100,000 men and mortality rates were about 16.3 per 100,000 men in 2018.

“On daily basis, at least 15 men die of prostate cancer in Nigeria and a man of African descent is 70 per cent more likely to develop prostate cancer than men of other races.

“Globally, one on eight men will be diagnosed with the disease.

“We are using our initiative, “Men on Blue’’, as a health intervention in closing the gap of awareness, education, research and screening for prostate cancer in rural communities in the society.

“With the support of ACT Foundation, Men on Blue, has made a significant impact in Nigeria’s oncology space and have increased awareness and also activated interest on prostate cancer and men’s health,” he added.

Chidebe further said that the project was aimed at reduction of prostate cancer, through the creation of a platform on the disease awareness, screening research and support in Nigeria.

“We mobilised over 3,000 men in Abuja, Enugu and Lagos, through prostate cancer walk.

“Over 10,000 persons were reached with awareness and over 15 million reached via television, radio and social media campaign,’’ he said.

Chidebe however urged men of 40 years and above to go for Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test, noting that early detection saves life.

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