10 January 2019

Tanzania: Over 180 Men Undergo Prostate Cancer Surgery

AT least 187 men with prostate cancer have undergone surgery at Benjamin Mkapa Hospital (BMH) from March to December, last year.

Speaking in Dodoma recently, BMH urologist, Dr Remigius Rugakingira, said BMH was equipped with modern facilities to provide medical treatment, including laparoscopic surgery. He explained that laparoscopic surgery had a competitive edge compared to common surgery.

"Reduced pain due to smaller incisions, reduced haemorrhage and a short recovery time are among of the advantages," he said.

Dr Rugakingira noted that men with prostate cancer came from inside and outside the country and among the regions, where it was common included Dar es Salaam, Singida, Iringa, Ruvuma and Dodoma. He advised men aged 45 years and above to go for regular medical check-up to reduce health risks.

"Let me use this opportunity to advise men aged 45 years and above to cultivate a culture of going for regular medical check-up," said the urologist. Last year, BMH introduced laparoscopic surgery, an operation performed in the abdomen or pelvis through small incisions with the aid of cameras.

The laparoscope aids diagnosis or therapeutic interventions with a few small cuts in the abdomen, according to BMH Executive Director, Dr Alphonse Chandika. Dr Chandika said there were advantages to patients with laparoscopic surgery versus an open procedure.

"After laparoscopic surgery, a patient spends a short time in hospital before being discharged," he noted.

Dr Chandika said further that laparoscopic surgery included operations within the abdominal or pelvic cavities, whereas a keyhole surgery was performed on the thoracic or chest cavity and the laparoscopic surgery belonged to a broader field of endoscopy.

According to World Cancer Research Fund International, a leading authority on cancer prevention research related to diet, nutrition and physical activity, prostate cancer is the second most commonly occurring cancer in men and the fourth most commonly occurring cancer overall. There were 1.3 million new cases in 2018.

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