A health expert has encouraged men aged at least 40 years to go for regular prostate cancer screening to detect any signs of the disease early.
Prostate cancer begins when cells in the prostate gland, which is found only in males, start to grow out of control.
Speaking during a 98.4FM current affairs programme, Health Focus, Health Services Director at Midlands State University, Dr Gerald Hangaika said prostate cancer was generally prevalent in men of age 50 years and above, but males were encouraged to go for regular screening from 40 years.
“It`s known to be higher from the age group of 50 going upwards and the risk is higher in blacks than in whites, so we usually say Black men should seek screening services early. At about 40 years and upward, one is encouraged to consult a doctor in terms of screening for prostate cancer.”
Statistics on prostate cancer show that a male of African descent is 76% more likely to develop prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the second most common type of cancer in Zimbabwe and affects about 23% of men in the country.
Dr. Hangaika said men should have good health-seeking behaviour and way of living, which included regular screening for prostate cancer. He added that living a healthy lifestyle included physical exercise and having a good diet.
He said: “If it is diagnosed early before it starts spreading one can go for a surgical operation and the prostate is removed, giving him a new lease on life.”
Dr Hangaika urged men to reduce smoking and not to take alcohol excessively to minimize the risk of developing prostate cancer.
According to the World Health Organisation data published in 2018, prostate cancer deaths in Zimbabwe reached 739 or 0.62% of total deaths.