Avail prostate cancer test­ing cen­tres to pub­lic

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

EDI­TOR - My mother is a sur­vivor of breast cancer. Thank God that it was di­ag­nosed when she was in the US.

Oc­to­ber is breast Cancer Aware­ness Month, which is an an­nual cam­paign to in­crease aware­ness of the dis­ease. This is a dis­ease that mostly af­fects women and there are fa­cil­i­ties around the whole of Zim­babwe where all women can get free cancer test­ing in­clud­ing smear test.

What I find amaz­ing is that the big­gest killer of BLACK MEN is prostate cancer. This is a dis­ease that kills more black men over the age of 50 years old than Aids yet there are no fa­cil­i­ties to pro­vide FREE test­ing for our coun­try­men. We are hereby re­quest­ing our govern­ment to recog­nise prostate cancer the same way they recog­nise breast cancer. Prostate cancer is usu­ally a very slow grow­ing cancer, of­ten caus­ing no symp­toms un­til it is in an ad­vanced stage.

Most men with prostate cancer die of other causes, and many never know that they have the dis­ease. But once prostate cancer be­gins to grow quickly or spreads out­side the prostate, it is dan­ger­ous.

Prostate cancer in its early stages can be treated with very good chances for sur­vival. Un­for­tu­nately in Zim­babwe there are no fa­cil­i­ties to di­ag­nose prostate cancer at an early stage of the dis­ease.

Cancer that has spread be­yond the prostate (eg lymph nodes, and lungs) is not cur­able, but it may be con­trolled for many years. Be­cause of the many ad­vances in avail­able treat­ments, most men whose prostate cancer be­comes widespread can ex­pect to live five years or more.

Some men with ad­vanced prostate cancer live a nor­mal life and die of an­other cause, such as heart dis­ease. I am kindly ask­ing the same in­sti­tu­tions that do smear test and HIV test to be fa­cil­i­ties for prostate cancer test­ing. And for our govern­ment to recog­nise it as a chronic dis­ease for the month of Oc­to­ber ev­ery year. Ja­cob Mutisi.

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