There is a surge in prostate illness among men especially those in rural areas, a Murang'a doctor Samuel Gitonga has said. Gitonga observed that failure by men to seek early medical checkup has greatly led to an increase of the disease among men aged 40 years and above. The doctor working with Modern Aberdare View Hospital located in Kangari said a large number of men who sought treatment are diagnosed with prostate illness. 'From the incidences we have seen, the prevalence of prostate illnesses is very high and many are even unaware that they are unwell and they just suffer silently,' said Gitonga during a free medical camp organized by his hospital at Kangari shopping centre. He observed that prostate illnesses that includes inflammation (prostatitis), non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia) and prostate cancer can be treated if diagnosed early but added that most men do not get medical care until the condition is too progressed. According to World Cancer Research Fund International approximately more than 3,000 men in Kenya are living with prostate cancer with over 1.4 million new cases of prostate cancer recorded in 2020 globally. 'It's worrying that a large number of men who turn up for medical checkups have prostate illness. Unfortunately, conditions of some have progressed thus posing a challenge to effective treatment,' he said. Gitonga added 'Many men also suffer from erectile dysfunction, stemming from the high prevalence of chronic illnesses.' The doctor underscored the need for men to ensure they undergo frequent medical check-ups especially once they reach the age of 40 years. 'A big number of men only seek medical treatment when they exhibit symptoms of prostate diseases. It is advisable for men to frequently seek medical checkups more often.' Gitonga explained that common symptoms of prostate illness include difficulty and discomfort while passing urine, blood in the urine, trouble getting an erection, painful ejaculation, less fluid when they ejaculate, and sometimes blood in semen. 'When one feels discomfort while passing urine, he should seek medication without delay as I also caution men from doing self-diagnosis. Let them seek medical care from hospitals,' Gitonga added. The doctor further noted that those suffering from chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension were urged to ensure they treat the conditions to avoid other resultant health complications. Gitonga further appealed to men to observe eating a balanced diet saying a high protein or starchy diet can compromise their health. He urged the government and other stakeholders to sensitize men especially in the rural areas on prostate issues and the need to undergo regular check-ups. The hospital's administrator Daniel Kariru said with the high cost of living, many people are shunning hospitals and suffering with their illnesses at home. Kariru called upon local residents to ensure they register for NHIF to help them access good quality health care when they are unwell. 'Most illnesses can be treated if diagnosed early so let people stop waiting until their symptoms worsen,' he said.
Source: Kenya News Agency