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Dr. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu

Men’s Health:Prostate Cancer Life Expectancy is not universal; The Deception (I)

Dr. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu

Every man has a prostate, but every prostate doesn’t have to make every man’s life miserable. This all-too commonly bothersome gland is the source of a lot of grief as men age. Still, there are steps that can be taken to help it last a lifetime. Prostate problems are common in men over 50 years of age. They can affect your daily routine adversely. A person who has health has a hundred goals; a person who doesn’t have health has but one goal.

Every day, I challenge this cancer to find its causes and potential cure using diverse modalities and survival for patients with better national policies and ultimate victory for me.I realized that you beat prostate cancer by how you live, where you live and in the manner in which you live.  What exist in book is totally different from the reality. Now, before I proceed; let’s look at these Facts and figures of prostate cancer: Ghana and the UK case studies.

A global cancer database compiled in 2010 for the International Agency for Research on Cancer indicated that Ghana records an estimated number of 921 new prostate cancer cases every year while an estimated prostate cancer related death of 758 deaths are recorded every year. Remember, in Ghana we do not have a well-defined National Cancer register. Now across the UK, the Prostate Cancer UK (2016) revealed that Over 46,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year – that’s 128 men every day. Every hour one man dies from prostate cancer – that’s more than 11,000 men every year. Let’s me break it down further per territory in the UK. In Scotland, More than 3,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in Scotland.  900 men die from prostate cancer every year in Scotland. In England, Almost 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in England.9,500 men die from prostate cancer every year in England.

In Wales, More than 2,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in Wales.  600 men die every year from prostate cancer in Wales. In Northern Ireland, 1,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in Northern Ireland. 200 men die every year from prostate cancer in Northern Ireland.

Comparing the Prostate Cancer Incidence/Mortality Rates

Between Ghana and UK Territories.



So what is my prostate cancer life expectancy?

From the research, this is the very important question I believe we need to ask ourselves as Ghanaians. Upon hearing the word ‘cancer’ in a diagnosis, it is natural for our immediate focus to be concentrated on mortality and to pose the question “How long do I have to live?” in fact, lots of factors determine your life expectancy. The expertise of the Doctor, the treatment regime, managing post treatment, dealing with side effects of the treatment, support receive et al. individual biochemistry also accounts for all these.

Many doctors will avoid a clear response to this question, instead recommending aggressive and methods that can lead to the cancer becoming more active and can cause other side effects like incontinence, impotence, and bowel problems.

There is plenty of evidence to suggest that ‘watchful waiting’, changing your diet and seeking alternative, natural cures will produce benefits that far outweigh conventional medical procedures. In fact, statistics show that a high percentage of men diagnosed with prostate cancer ultimately die with it and not from it and as such aggressive treatment is unnecessary. Integrative treatment plays a key role also here for life expectancy.  Other studies also opined that active waiting or active surveillance could be a calculated gamble for black men. So life expectancy also varies between black and white men; there are cancer disparities.

Another very important question and I want you to answer or insteadwrite down the answers to these questions before moving on further with me:

What is your opinion when you hear that someone has “gone into remission,”?Because chemotherapy causes so much pain and suffering, what statistic would justify its use?

“Cure rate” any mean?”

This is a very important question men diagnosed with prostate cancer do ask and even those concerned about the disease also do. Additionally, the key question to be dealt with is this: how do we determine which treatment plan is “best?”  Based on my research I think a normal person would judge the effectiveness of a treatment plan (or lack of effectiveness) on the basis of three criteria:

Treatment Decision Criteria

The First decision criteria you need to consider is, “length of life since diagnosis” (quantity of life, meaning how long do they live between diagnosis and death), Secondly, “quality of life since diagnosis” (lack of pain and sickness). Thirdly, “strength of the immune system during and after treatments” (this is a measure of the body’s ability to fight future cancer events).

One very important case study I chanced on was derived from the Cancer tutor.com. let’s look at this case study and what they  say: For example, suppose Treatment A and Treatment B have identical “length of life since diagnosis” figures, but Treatment A patients have extreme suffering during treatment and patients of Treatment B have very little pain and suffering. I suspect that everyone would judge Treatment B as being the better or preferred of the two treatment plans.

These three treatment decision criteria can lead to some subjective evaluations. For example, suppose the patients on Treatment Plan C have a “length of life since diagnosis” of 12 months, and the patients on Treatment Plan D have a “length of life since diagnosis” of 11 months, but have far, far less pain, suffering and sickness during treatment. Which treatment plan is best? The answer is subjective, but I think most people would favor Treatment Plan D.

In short, we can intuitively define a treatment plan as “best” if it is the most desirable treatment plan, given the data of the three treatment decision criteria statistics. In other words, the plan picked by the most number of people who have accurate treatment decision criteria information about the treatment options would be judged the “best” plan.

For example, suppose a person had a list of all possible treatment options (even the 100 alternative treatments) and for each treatment option they had accurate data for all three treatment decision criteria (e.g. quantity, quality and immune system) for their type of newly diagnosed cancer at the stage in which they are in at the time of diagnosis. The person could look at the chart and within a few minutes pick their treatment protocol. It would be easy to decide which option to choose.

But here lies the problem, what is the accurate data for the above treatment options for the three treatment decision criteria, for a specific type of cancer diagnosed at a specific stage? None of this data is available. You might be interested to know “why” this data is not available.


About the columnist: Dr. Raphael NyarkoteyObu is a research professor of Prostate Cancer and Alternative Medicine at Da Vinci College of Holistic Medicine, Larnaca city, Cyprus and President of Men’s Health Foundation Ghana.

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