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02.10.2020 Feature Article

My Prostate, “My Powerhouse”: My Prostate Cancer Education Journey

My Prostate, “My Powerhouse”: My Prostate Cancer Education Journey
LISTEN OCT 2, 2020

Many were the doubting Thomases when I started my prostate cancer campaign. This is due to the fact that; they practically have no knowledge about my background as a Naturopathic doctor. Besides, it is rare for such practitioners to have such knowledge on the disease due to the perception in the field, but time has practically changed! I developed much interest in prostate cancer in black men in my Master’s program in Prostate Cancer introduced by Sheffield Hallam University, UK and Prostate Cancer UK, in 2013. It is the very first ever program in prostate cancer at the Master’s level globally for health professionals.

Then, the Master’s module program was a standalone to train Healthcare workers who have interest in men’s health as prostate cancer specialist, advocates and policy drivers in their various countries. It was in this program I realized the devastating effect of prostate cancer in black men and why they are more prone to the disease. Some countries have developed some policies to help address this deadly disease with quality of life care programs. I further developed interest in complementary holistic medicine in this program when we were introduced to the use of complementary medicines and the role they play in improving the quality of life of cancer patients. Seven years down the line, I have done much in the fight against prostate cancer with breakthrough Men’s Formula product for Prostate Health and wellness and finally out doored this huge close to 900-page book on prostate health.

During my research, I likened Prostate cancer in black men to some supervillains in a fictitious book. Hence, Prostate cancer strikes a special chord with me, why? It is a very aggressive cancer in black men, in part because it’s discovered at very late stages when it’s highly advanced and appears as if there is nothing to be done to cure it. There is also another headache for black men: After conventional treatment, this cancer comes back for 75 percent of black patients. And this time, it usually comes back in a drug-resistant form. High-grade prostate cancer appears as one of the biggest supervillains out there in comic books. You see, as a researcher, I usually don’t get to work with patients. But I recently met a man who is trying to survive prostate cancer. I was deeply inspired by the optimism and strength that both Dad and son displayed and by their story of courage and support. At this event, we spoke about the different technologies directed at prostate cancer aside conventional treatment. And he was in tears as he explained how learning about these efforts gives him hope for future generations, including his son.

This really touched me. It’s not just about building really well-designed knowledge or making monies using dubious means from the so many frustrated black patients afflicted by prostate cancer. It is also not about the so many local and international awards I received day by day, or the so many scientific articles I write daily in the newspapers or publications in the peer review journals for academic recognitions. Along the line, I also realized that, most of these publications in the peer review journals or the scientific articles in the newspapers were also not read or accessed by the ordinary man on the street! Even those in academia who called me on these articles were looking for strategies to fight prostate cancer. So I realized that, the needs of the people were very far from what I have been doing! It’s about changing people’s lives. It’s about understanding the power of integrative medicine at the expense of relying solely on one treatment modality. I realized that, this very aggressive prostate cancer in black men has a kind of supervillains in the comic books I read; prostate cancer in black men is cunning, flexible, and very good at not dying. And, like most supervillains these days, their superpowers come from diverse angles and we need to stop it before it strikes. Interestingly enough, as human beings, we rather take our source of motivations and inspirations from these supervillains with superpowers who knew nothing about how the mortal being behaves when afflicted with pains or deadly disease such as prostate cancer. Prostate health is crucially important to all men, so I hope all female readers will share this information with the men in their lives. Thankfully, there are simple, effective strategies men can employ that may significantly reduce their chances of having to face prostate problems such as enlarged prostate or prostate cancer, and in this book I discuss those strategies based on evidence.

Prostate Cancer is often misunderstood by even the most respected medical professionals in the world. This is because some even believed that people get cancer like the same way they would catch cold or bacterial infection. But in reality, every cell has the ability to be cancerous, and a variety of factors can prompt a cell to do so. And while most Oncologists (and even leading cancer associations) consider cancer a genetic disease, I realized that this is not entirely true. Prostate Cancer, therefore, occurs when genes within a cell lose their ability to regulate that cell’s growth. These disobedient cells don’t know how to stop multiplying or die. But all cells have the potential to lose this ability, meaning any cell can cancer at any time, depending on the environment it finds itself! I know people may be wondering and asking if Prostate cancer is unavoidable? No. The choice to die without disease is ours to make, right now. But trying to live my entire life cancer free seems like a pretty formidable goal that I have embarked on as a young man based on my researches. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the visible size. I got talking with lots of men who know prostate cancer up close and personal. I was struck by the profound impact the diagnosis had had on their view of life. I felt sad when a Medical Doctor I had worked with before was struck down with prostate enlargement, his story of how prostate trouble has left him helpless worried me! I know he has been battling with prostate condition for some time now. In fact, he has been a good father to me and had always encouraged me with my research into Natural remedies.

So finally, when I found breakthrough for men with my new formula; I had to call him, he told me a very pathetic story! He went in for biopsy which proved benign though; but his own colleague Medical Doctor did not pay much attention to his condition and later had to suffer the consequences of post biopsy side effects. After the biopsy, he went home and unable to pass urine and was rushed to a nearby Medical facility. In fact, the pressure was too much that, he had to pass the catheter himself and lo and behold, the blood clot that came out, Only God saved him. The rest is history!

So the question is, why do men not pay much attention to this prostate gland but later try to regain it after they had lost it? My encounter with men with prostate conditions always leave me wondering as a young Man! You see, even if they didn’t need significant ongoing treatment and now had a good long term prognosis, they said the experience had jolted things into perspective. Day after Day, I heard men talk about making the most of precious time, having more fun, building memories with their families, and doing the things they had always wanted to do. They spoke about the satisfaction they felt from doing things, big and small, which made them and their families proud. They recognized how priceless good health is, and simply couldn’t understand how men would let ignorance, apathy or fear of a simple test or of treatment, get in the way of looking after their health - even though several of them admitted they had done exactly that before they were diagnosed. According to Angela Culhane of Prostate Cancer UK “The very clear message coming from them to other men was not to stick your head in the sand in a misguided attempt to ignore prostate cancer, but to get informed about it for yourself and to join the fight to beat it for everybody”. I’m passing that message on and I hope others will too. It’s a life saver. Let alone what it does! You see, Size definitely isn’t everything where the prostate is concerned. This little gland, hidden from sight just below the bladder, is only about the size of a walnut. But when it goes rogue, a man’s life can be over. You see, black men wouldn’t ignore their prostate if they knew the important role it plays if in good health or what it could cost them if it goes wayward. So the simple question is why do they neglect it? Probably, it is because the gland is invisible and out of sight is out of mind as they say! Maybe, black men don’t want to think about any problem below the belt. Others also still don’t believe prostate cancer is a real problem and it is evident as policy makers also neglect it and focus on breast cancer awareness and education because prostate cancer doesn’t hit the headlines like breast cancer. Breast cancer gets the needed attention, awareness, education and political support. Maybe, because is a superficial organ and could be seen, felt and men compete with their children for the breast for pleasure! I believe that, if women also know what they stand to get from their men prostate if in good health, they would obviously fight for their men prostate health as well. Interestingly, policy makers and medical people also perhaps believe the myth that hold that prostate cancer is a disease that men die with and not from. Well, ask the families of some men who die of it every year and they’ll be quick to tell you another story; that prostate cancer doesn’t go away if you stick your head in the sand; that it’s a silent assassin which all too often takes men out in their prime; that it leaves their plans for retirement in tatters and their families grieving.

The small gland prostate, though, not vital for life, the prostate is vital for reproduction. The Prostate is not our ‘enemy’ as black men! It is our friend, and not a taboo to have it with you. In Ghana, many men aren’t sure what their prostate is, what it does, and ultimately why they get prostate conditions! The prostate is the priciest assets every man could have if it is in good health, just as the breast in women. But if it goes way ward, then, a man’s’ life could be in danger! It is pronounced ‘Prostate’ and NOT ‘Prostrate’. Interestingly enough, some Medics also make this mistake in the pronunciation. It is really a small gland, but has enormous contributions to the man’s survival. It is a small gland that is part of the male reproductive system. It’s supposed to be about the shape and size of a walnut. It rests below your bladder and in front of your rectum. It surrounds part of the urethra, the tube in the penis that carries pee (urine) from your bladder. The seminal vesicles are rabbit-eared structures that sit on top of the prostate and store and secrete a large portion of the ejaculate. The neurovascular bundle is a collection of nerves and vessels that run along each side of the prostate, and helps to control erectile function. This also provides the basis for sexual challenges after prostate surgery as some of the nerves could be affected. In some men, these nerves run a short distance away from the prostate, but in others, they attach to the prostate itself. Their precise location doesn’t impact prostate function or contribute to prostate cancer when it occurs. The bladder is like a balloon that gets larger as it fills with urine. The urethra, a narrow tube that connects to the bladder, runs through the middle of the prostate and along the length of the penis, carrying both urine and semen out of the body. It is the hose that drains the bladder. The rectum, which sits right behind the prostate, is the lower end of your intestines and connects to the anus. It has so many functions: The prostate helps make some of the fluid in semen, which carries sperm from the testicles we ejaculate as men. As we age, our prostate can become larger. It’s a normal part of aging for most men. So it means that, right from birth, we have the prostate gland. It is God’s design for man to have the prostate gland and part of our survival as men. According to WedMed, by the time we reach age 40, our prostate might have gone from the size of a walnut to the size of an apricot. Meaning that, the prostate gland goes through a life cycle and start from puberty age.

It therefore important as men to take real preventative measures in our youthful age and not in our old age when the prostate had already grown to a point it may create problem for us as men. A growing prostate can also signal cancer Real preventative medicine or measures for our prostate as black men really starts in our thirties and not from forties upwards. This is because, by the time we hit 60, it might be the size of a lemon where it may give us problems. Because it surrounds part of the urethra, the enlarged prostate can squeeze that tube. This causes problems when you try to pee(urinate). Typically, you won’t see these problems until you’re 50 or older, but they can start earlier even in your thirties but because we don’t pay much attention to this collective symptoms, we neglect it and obviously, ‘out of sight is out of mind’. I know many men have heard of this condition; benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH (prostate enlargement) for short. It is not cancerous. Age and a family history of BPH are two things that increase the chances you might get it. A few statistics on that according to WedMed:

  1. Some 8 out of every 10 men eventually develop an enlarged prostate.
  2. About 90% of men over the age of 85 will have BPH.
  3. About 30% of men will find their symptoms bothersome.

This is just what to expect in my latest close to 900-page book on the prostate. The book is out for Ghc500 cedis only. Enquiries call( 0241083423/0541234556). It is a well research book on the prostate health. Thank you

The author is a renowned holistic doctor and Vinnytsia State Pedagogical University, Ukraine, honorary professor of holistic and Naturopathic Medicine and currently pursuing, LLB law/MBA concurrently. President of Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine & RNG Medicine Research Lab, Tema community 18. He is the formulator of FDA approved Nyarkotey Hibiscus Tea for Cardiovascular Support and wellness, Men’s Formula for Prostate Health and Women’s Formula for wellness. Contact: 0241083423/0541234556

Raphael Nyarkotey Obu, PhD
Raphael Nyarkotey Obu, PhD, © 2020

Prof Raphael Nyarkotey Obu is an honorary professor of holistic medicine-Vinnytsia State Pedagogical University, Ukraine and the President of Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine, Tema Community 7, Post office. Column: RaphaelNyarkoteyObu

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