Abuja — The Project PINK BLUE, a cancer fighting organisation, in partnership with Aspire Coronation Trust (ACT) Foundation, has embarked on a lifesaving initiative across cities in Nigeria to provide awareness and free screenings for prostate cancer as part of efforts to save 2, 000 Nigerian men from the disease. Executive Director of Project PINK BLUE, Mr. Runcie Chidebe, said the initiative, known as "Men on Blue" was focused on prostate cancer awareness, free Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test, support, health education and navigation. Chidebe stressed that early detection was key in the fight against cancer. He stated this during the free PSA test in Abuja, recently, for men above the age of 30.
According to him, prostate cancer has killed many Nigerians mostly because it was not detected on time.
He said, "Several families have lost their loved ones to prostate cancer, mostly because it was presented to the doctors at a very late stage when the cancer has already spread to other parts of the man's body like bone, and lymph nodes among others.
"Prostate cancer has become the most common cause of cancer death among Nigerian men, and it develops mainly in older men.
"Researchers found that the factors that affects a man's risk of getting prostate cancer includes; genetic factor, poor diet, obesity, smoking, exposure to some chemicals, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and vasectomy."
Also speaking, Programme Director, Project PINK BLUE, Sarah Dantosho, revealed that despite the severity of the disease, the level of awareness was still poor. Dantosho said, "So many people are not aware and educated on this cancer because much attention is being given to breast cancer, cervical cancer."
According to her, prostate cancer happens to be the cheapest form of cancer, as the treatment is not really expensive if detected early.
"Therefore project PINK BLUE urges companies to focus on the health of their workforce by incorporating prostate cancer screenings as part of their annual event and government at all levels to match their commitments with actionable investments in addressing the burden of cancer," she said.
In the same vein, veteran Nollywood actor, Mr. Bruno Iwuoha, who was part of the initiative, urged government to support initiatives like "Men on Blue".
Iwuoha said, "The government is not doing anything, this is supposed to be free in every community where they go to seek vote.
"As 2019 draws I call on politicians clamouring to be voted back into power to sponsor this type of programme instead of throwing rice indomie on dying people with cancer. I also call on the president to use 20 per cent of the recovered looted money to empower this kind of programme."
Participants at the PSA screening expressed their gratitude to the organisers for the free test.
A participant, Mr. Linked Adeleke, said the programme was amazing and commendable. Adeleke commended the organisers for introducing the programme at the grassroots for the less privileged "and people that cannot afford this kind of test, because I believe prevention is better than cure".