Curative treatment available locally for prostate cancer
Following investments made by Government to enhance the institution’s capabilities, the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) is well equipped to diagnose and provide medical care for all stages of cancer.
This is according to Urologist attached GPHC, Dr Rajendra Sukhraj, who noted that early screening gives access to faster treatment.
Once detected early, curative treatment such as radiation and removal surgery (to stop the cancer from spreading) is available for men with stage one and two prostate cancer.
Meanwhile, medical treatment and chemotherapy is available for men in stages three and four, to help prevent many of the debilitative complications associated with these stages.
Sukhraj explained all the methods of treatment aforementioned are well-established and internationally accepted treatment options.
Further, he mentioned that over time, newer medications and advanced technological services will also become accessible.
“It is very important that if we are screening men and making a diagnosis then we should be able to offer them the treatment that they need. So, yes, we do offer treatment for all stages of prostate cancer…it’s cheaper to treat cancer in the early stages than the advanced stages and we know that it reduces your risk of dying from prostate cancer. So, definitely screening works. We have seen that elsewhere and it’s about time that we started doing that on a national level,” Sukhraj explained.
Sukhraj said the treatment methods available are 90 per cent effective. He said all patients diagnosed with cancer are registered with the Cancer Registry, in an effort to help them regain and rebuild their physical and emotional health.
“So, there’s always a chance with every cancer that it can come back so cancer patients generally are never discharged from our clinic, they always get a follow-up every three month or six month or one year where we do that same PSA blood test that we talk about. That give you an idea as to if there’s any reoccurrence of cancer. Yes, they do come back but just between five or ten per cent.”
According to data published in 2020 by the World Health Organisation (WHO), prostate cancer deaths in Guyana reached 123 or 1.71 per cent of total deaths and the age adjusted death rate is 41.13 per 100,000 population.
The Mayo Clinic states that prostate cancer occurs in the prostate, a small walnut-shaped gland in males that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that one in five men and one in six women worldwide develop cancer during their lifetime, and one in eight men and one in 11 women die from the disease. It is believed that some 43.8 million persons are living with cancer.
Lung and breast cancer are the leading types of cancer worldwide, accounting for about 11.6 per cent of total cancer cases. That is followed by colorectal cancer and prostate cancer, which account for 10.2 per cent and 7.1 per cent of all cancer cases, respectively.
The prostate cancer screening tests include blood sampling called a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test. This test measures the level of PSA in the blood. PSA is a substance made by the prostate. The levels of PSA in the blood can be higher in men who have prostate cancer.
The most common risk factor for prostate cancer is age, however, diet and lifestyle changes can help to reduce a man’s chances of developing prostate cancer.
Nevertheless, men are advised to desist from using self-proclaimed and homemade medications that in most cases can cause the severity of the cancer to increase to another stage.