By Raphael Nyarkotey Obu.
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
Females 12,633,978 51.2% 0.100 2.5%
Males 12,024,845 48.8% 0.95 2.5%
Projected Population growth for 2019
Brong Ahafo (B/A) National
Male Population (2010) 1,145,271 12,024,845
Male Population (2019) 1,402,957 14,730,435
[Projected at 2.5% p.a.]
Population at risk of Prostate Cancer in 2019
Brong Ahafo [40.07%] 562,165
National [40.07%] 5,902,485
Working out the Ghanaian Men Life Time Risk of Prostate Cancer
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.