Prostate cancer: Watchful waiting can cost you up to Sh800,000

NAIROBI: One can save up to Sh70,000 a month (Sh840,000 in a year) if he gets screened early for prostate cancer.

However, despite there being many facilities offering free medical check-ups for such diseases, many men are not receptive to the idea leading to about the 10,000 new cases of advanced prostate cancer annually.

This is due to the nature of the check-up regarded rather 'uncomfortable' and the fear of being diagnosed positive. To address the situation, yesterday Mater Hospital organised a free medical check-up for prostate diseases where 350 participants showed up.

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"The danger of having cancer and not knowing it is that it will be diagnosed when it is already too late," said the hospital's Director of Medical Services Victor Ng'ani.

When diagnosed early, a patient can incur just Sh2,000 which will end up averagely costing just Sh10,000 for full treatment. Ng'ani said many health facilities concentrate on infectious diseases forgetting that non-communicable diseases like cancer are becoming more rampant.

"Cancer has a big spectrum of aggressive and slow growing. Not all prostatic diseases are cancerous but to save you the grief just show up for these check-ups," he advised.

Prostate cancer is the most common prostatic condition in men (besides skin cancer) and at its worst stage it will require a combination of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or even hormonal therapy.

However, many men chose to delay treatment which is medically referred to as watchful waiting. "Anyone who has a prostate should not be oblivious that he is safe. Prostatic disease whether cancerous or non-cancerous requires specialised treatment," said Dr Sammy Miima. 

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prostate cancerskin cancerVictor Ng'ani