Prostate cancer is not an equal opportunity disease and I believe that unless we tackle the primary prevention of cancer i.e. stopping cancer before it starts, we are unlikely to see any improvement in the cancer situation in Ghana. There are many barriers to action on the primary prevention of cancer; cancer is also caused by lack of ‘political will’ power to fight it. In my view, the biggest barrier to addressing cancer services is the lack of action on primary prevention which necessitates greater resources into services in the first place.
Prostate cancer is underestimated subject in Ghana; yet more men are battling with the disease. There is also more studies revealing the high incidence and death of the disease in Ghanaian men. For instance, according to Egote et al 2019, prostate cancer affect 40.07% of men in Brong -Ahafo Region by age 50. This is a 6-Year Single Center Retrospective Study published in the journal Health.
Population at Risk of Prostate Cancer in Ghana
The final results of the 2010 Population and Housing Census (PHC) showed that the total population of Ghana as at 26th September, 2010 was 24,658,823. The results indicated that Ghana’s population increased by 30.4 percent over the 2000 population figure of 18,912,079. The recorded annual intercensal growth rate in 2010 was 2.5 percent as against 2.7 percent recorded in 2000.
The results revealed that there were 12,633,978 females and 12,024,845 males. This implied that females constituted 51.2 percent of the population and males 48.8 percent, resulting in sex ratio of 95 males to 100 females. It also showed increase in population density from 79 people per square km in 2000 to 103 per square km in 2010.
National Breakdown (2010)
|Sex||Figure||Percentage||Ratio||Annual Growth Rate|
Projected Population growth for 2019
|Brong Ahafo (B/A)||National|
|Male Population (2010)||1,145,271||12,024,845|
|Male Population (2019) [Projected at 2.5% p.a.]||1,402,957||14,730,435|
Population at risk of Prostate Cancer in 2019
Working out the Ghanaian Men Life Time Risk of Prostate Cancer
- The researcher used different types of data about who gets prostate cancer annually in Ghana based on the literature reviews:
- The number of men diagnosed with prostate cancer and their ages annually
- Information on annual deaths from Prostate cancer based on the Ghana Health Service(GHS) 2015 report
- Information about the population of Male in Ghana (from the Population and Housing Census 2010 report (PHC) and projected 2.5 annual growth rate.
- Egorte et al 6-Year Single Center Retrospective Study, 2019 findings which placed Men in the Brong-Ahafo Region to 40.07% of been affected by prostate cancer to represent the national outlook of the disease.
- The Researcher used all this information to calculate Ghanaian men’s lifetime risk of getting prostate cancer.
- The Researcher found out that 4 out of every 10 male or 2 out of every 5 Ghanaian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives.
- The researcher will regularly review this work to make sure that men get the most up-to-date information about prostate cancer risk in Ghana.
- Using the Brong Ahafo figure of 40.07% as national average brings 5,902,485 of the estimated current male population of 14,730,435 (based on the 2010 PHC male figure of 12,024,845 as adjusted by 2.5% annual growth rate) at risk of the disease.
- Using the Brong Ahafo figure of 40.07% as national average brings 5,902,485 of the estimated current male population of 14,730,435 (based on the 2010 PHC male figure of 12,024,845 as adjusted by 2.5% annual growth rate) at risk of the disease. This implies that 4 out of every 10 male or 2 out of every 5 male of whatever age in Ghana are at risk of getting prostate cancer and this must call for a national dialogue by all the stakeholders.
- This means 4 out of every 10 male or 2 out of every 5 male of whatever age in Ghana is at risk and this must call a national dialogue of all stakeholders.
- Annual prostate cancer death is 75% in Ghana based on Ghana Health Service 2015 data(fig 1, )
What is Lifetime Risk?
There are different ways of explaining a man’s risk of getting prostate cancer. For instance, according to research studies, Black men have three times chances more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men of the same age. This way of explaining risk is called relative risk and it means the difference in risk of one group of people compared to another. According to the Prostate cancer UK, “This information is still correct – it is just a different way of explaining a man’s risk of getting prostate cancer”.
So that we know that, 4 out of every 10 male or 2 out of every 5 Ghanaian male will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives. This is their lifetime risk of getting prostate cancer. What it means is that, the risk that a Ghanaian male has of being diagnosed with the disease at some point during their life. According to reviews, people find lifetime risk a clear way of understanding their chances of getting a disease such as prostate cancer.
Ghanaian Man’s Risk of Getting Prostate Cancer by age 50
The study author, a prostate cancer researcher and advocate in Ghana, has been looking at ways to explain to Ghanaian men their risk in a clear way that they can help them relate to the disease. This will help us raise awareness of prostate cancer and help men understand their risk.
The researcher finally worked out that 4 out of every 10 male or 2 out of every 5 male will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lives. Using the Brong Ahafo figure of 40.07% as national average brings 5,902,485 of the estimated current male population of 14,730,435 (based on the 2010 PHC male figure of 12,024,845 as adjusted by 2.5% annual growth rate) at risk of the disease. This means 4 out of every 10 male or 2 out of every 5 Ghanaian male of whatever age in Ghana is at risk and this must call a national dialogue of all stakeholders. Now the message is simple: Time to take action on prostate health in Ghana!
About the Author:
Prof. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu, is an honorary Professor of Naturopathic Medicine with research interest in prostate cancer in black men, Holistic and Naturopathic Urology, Vinnytsia State Pedagogical University, Ukraine, President of Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine, Tema Community, 7, Post Office. Formulator of Men’s Formula for Prostate Health & Immune booster, Women’s Formula for wellness and Nyarkotey Tea for Cardiovascular Health. Enquiries: 0208244716/0541234556, Kumasi: 0243611641
- Alexander K. Egote, Paul Poku Sampene Ossei, John Taylor, Theophilus Bortier(2018) Enucleation of a Giant Prostatic Hyperplasia in Ghana: A Case Report and Mini Literature Review. Case Reports in Clinical Medicine, 7, 583-593
- Alexander Kofi Egote, Paul Poku Sampene Ossei, Eric Agyeman-Duah, John Taylor , Evans Quarshie(2019) Patterns and Presentation of Prostate Cancer in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana: A 6-Year Single Center Retrospective Study. Health, 11, 351-360
- Egote AK, Ossei PPS, Agyeman-Duah E, Quarshie E, Taylor J(2018) Age as a risk factor for prostate diseases: A 6-year selective prospective study among males in the Brong Ahafo region of Ghana. The Journal of Medical Research: 154-157
- Adler C , Friesen MC, Yeboah ED, Tettey Y, Biritwum RB, Adjei AA, Tay E, Okyne V, Mensah JE, Truelove A, Yang B, Kelly SP, Zhou CK, McCullough LE, Pardo L, Hoover RN, Hsing AW, Cook MB, Koutros S(2019). Usual adult occupation and risk of prostate cancer in West African men: the Ghana Prostate Study. Occup Environ Med. :71-77.
- Yaw Ampem Amoako, Baffour Awuah, Rita Larsen-Reindorf, Fred Kwame Awittor, Gloria Kyem, Kwame Ofori-Boadu, Ernest Osei-Bonsu, and Dennis Odai Laryea(2019) Malignant tumours in urban Ghana: evidence from the city of Kumasi. BMC Cancer; 19: 267
- Ghana Statistical Service(2012)-2010 Population And Housing Census(Pdf)
Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."
Reproduction is authorised provided the author's permission is granted.