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A prostate cancer patient in Kumasi has petitioned the President and Parliament to include prostate cancer treatment on the list of diseases covered by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Nana Nanabanyin Queesy Ninin-Imbeah II said it was unfair, discriminatory and gross injustice for the National Health Insurance Authority to include the treatment of breast and cervical cancers and not prostate cancer.
In a petition copied to the Daily Graphic, Nana Ninsin-Imbeah II said prostate cancer had afflicted and affected “most productive men who are unaware of same and suffer the consequences of it, especially during their adult life from 60 years onwards.”
According to him, many people were suffering in silence from the debilitating effects of the disease without any assistance.
The petition, he explained, was on behalf of “all prostate cancer patients, all receiving treatment for the same ailment and those unknowingly suffering same for the kind perusal and consideration of Parliament for the enactment of the most appropriate legislation to bring it under the NHIS.”
Nana Ninin-Imbeah II said it was not pleasant to be silent for others to also suffer and experience the negative effects of undetected prostate cancer.
He commended the Ghana Association of Urologists (GAU) for instituting the month of September as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month to educate Ghanaians about this silent killer disease.
He urged Parliament to support the association in its crusade to bring prostate cancer under control.
What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is marked by an uncontrolled (malignant) growth of cells in the prostate gland. The prostate is the walnut-sized gland in men, located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum, surrounding the urethra — the tube that carries urine out of the bladder. The prostate produces and stores fluid that helps to make semen.
It is not yet known exactly what causes prostate cancer but researchers are studying certain risk factors to determine if these factors contribute to prostate cells developing into cancer.
In most cases, prostate cancer causes no symptoms and in rare cases men may experience certain symptoms when they have advanced prostate cancer. Some of these symptoms include difficulty emptying the bladder, blood in the urine and bone pains.