May 30, 2023

We have fears our libido will be lost — Prostate cancer survivors

Prostate Cancer in Nigeria: The way forward

..As Reddington records 50 laparoscopic surgeries in 1 year

By Chioma Obinna 

Prostate cancer is one of the commonest cancers plaguing 40 per cent of Nigerian men in the age group of 40 and above. Sadly, the number keeps increasing due to poor awareness, lack of timely treatment and medical infrastructure.

However, Thursday,  25th May, 2023 will remain evergreen for patients, family members and other Nigerians as some  prostate cancer survivors who are among the 50 operated at the Reddington Hospital, Lagos relayed their stories of hope and survival. 

These patients narrated how they were saved from premature death and above all have their libido intact after undergoing laparoscopic surgery, a non-invasive pinhole surgery. 

It is a new technology in prostate cancer care at Reddington Hospital that guarantees a 100 per cent cure  with minimal loss of blood and other side effects.

Sharing his story, Mr Ben Alozie, one of the survivors who had  laparoscopic surgery 10 months ago, said the last eight years had been traumatic for him no thanks to a near-fatal road accident that left him with broken limbs. He  survived COVID-19 before he was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Ben, a veteran journalist, said: “Though my wife understands, I thought I was going to lose my libido if I did the surgery but afterwards, I had my libido intact, if not 100 percent,at least 90 per cent. 

“Today I am a happy man. I am free from cancer. No more urinary incontinence and my libido is back fully”, he said

He urged men not to be negligent but go for regular test to check their prostate health.

Another survivor, Mr. Emeka Ezeani,  went for annual vacation in the United States and used the opportunity to run a comprehensive health check. It was one of the tests that returned positive for prostate cancer.

“The result was like a death sentence. I was devastated. My sister in New York said I should come over for a second opinion. It was confirmed but I was assured there is hope as it has not progressed much.

“I was about to start a radiotherapy in the hospital when I opened St Mulumba Catholic Church whatsapp platform and read a report about Prof. Ekwueme.  I contacted him through my younger brother. He asked me to take the next available flight to Lagos. 

“I came back January 14, 2023, did the MRI scan and was booked for the surgery at Reddington Hospital on the 19th. The rest is history. I am free of prostate cancer. No pain, no loss of blood during the surgery and I ate same day.”

He thanked the management of Reddington Hospital for providing a conducive medical environment for the successful surgery.

For Mr. Ezereadi Ezeorjika, before the surgery he was having challenges urinating but he is fine without signs of incontinence.  

“Urinating was a problem for me and when it will come, I may go to urinate more than five times in the night. That was what pushed me to go for PSA test where it was revealed that I had enlarged prostate.”

In a presentation titled “Can We Conquer Prostate Cancer?”, Prof. Kingsley Ekwueme said prostate cancer has become a public health burden globally with statistics showing high prevalence in Europe and North America.

He said although data in Nigeria is very poor but available information paints a gloomy picture. Ekwueme said people should not wait to have symptoms before they go for prostate cancer screening noting that at that stage it is bad news because it is already advanced. 

He said the success rate of laparoscopic surgery is 100 per cent adding that his partnership with Reddington Hospital will provide succor for Nigerian men and others from the West Coast including Ghana who come for the surgery.

Speaking, Chief Operating Officer of Reddington Hospital, Mr. Matthew Emmanuel said the hospital has been at the fore of revising medical tourism since its inception through excellence in healthcare and by partnering with Nigerian health professionals in the Diaspora to come back to Nigeria to deliver same quality services in the healthcare value chain.