A United Kingdom (UK) based Consultant Urologist and Robotic Surgeon, Prof Kingsley Ekwueme has described as a death sentence, the act of waiting to have symptoms before commencing treatment for prostate cancer by men, while also stressing the importance of early detection
He made this statement while delivering a lecture about prostate cancer, at a ‘Feast Luncheon’ organised over the weekend by Christ the King College Onitsha Old Boys Association, in commemoration of the ‘Feast of Christ the Universal King
According to him, “The misconception that men have not just in Nigeria, I have seen it even in the UK, they come and they tell me they don’t have any symptoms, so how can they have any prostate cancer?
“The truth is that, with the PSA blood test, we can now identify prostate cancer before it becomes clinically manifested.
“In terms of the treatment outcome, if you are asymptomatic with significant prostate cancer, the outcome is far better than when you are symptomatic. And certainly, if you are symptomatic, it could be a bad sign of metastatic cancer that is no longer localised within the prostate and might have spread.”
Speaking on new ways of treatment of prostate cancer, Prof. Ekwueme described open surgery as morbid.
He said the location of the prostate within the pelvic is so deep that to operate by open surgery would need a head lamb to see, “and you need to retract, and it’s incredibly difficult to dig the prostate out of a very deep hole.
“But with minimally invasive surgery, be it robotic or laparoscopic surgery, the camera system magnifies the field of operation in such high magnitude that you can operate with precision and get to the area previously thought impossible.
“So why would you want to subject a man to open surgery with a bucket full of blood loss and spending three to four weeks in the hospital? Some of them even die during this process, compared to a surgery that you can perform and go home in two nights. So that is my message here.”
He, therefore, called for the gradual phasing out of open surgery in the treatment of prostate cancer and all other applicable surgeries, and the adoption of robotic or laparoscopic surgery, which has proven more effective.
Earlier while speaking with THISDAY, the Association’s Vice President and Chairman of the Feast Commission, Barr. Chuks Nnalugha noted that the fact that most members of the association have attained an age where they could be at high risk of developing prostate cancer, informed the association’s decision to invite an expert in that field.
According to him, “We are aware that prostate cancer is one of the ailments that affects old age. We want to use this medium to create awareness and also make our members realise that it is not all that a death certificate, it could be cured.
“This was why we brought in a robotic professor who is very vast in robotic surgery in treating prostate cancer. And he has assured and proven to us that it is not all that a death sentence as people had thought, especially when it is detected very early.”