Ghana needs a cancer registry to enhance cancer research -health expert


Professor James Edward Mensah, Head, Department of Surgery, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), has called for a cancer registry of persons suffering from cancer, especially prostate cancer to enhance research into cancers. A cancer registry is a database, or an information system designed for the collection, storage, and management of data on persons with cancer. It plays a critical role in cancer surveillance, which tells efforts made to reduce the cancer burden and enhance research. Prof Mensah told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview as part of the prostate cancer awareness month that the lack of it was making it difficult for health experts to do proper monitoring after diagnosis. The Professor, also the President Ghana Association of Urological Surgeons, said that even though there was a cancer registry at the National Radiotheray Centre KBTH, a national one was needed to link data of all facilities, major departments in the country, including private hospitals which see cancer patients. This, he said, was important because a lot of prostate cancer patients with other underlying health conditions die without knowing the actual cause of death. Prostate cancer (PCa) is cancer that occurs in the prostate. It is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer worldwide and the fifth leading cause of cancer death among men in 2020. In Ghana, PCa is the second leading cause of male cancer deaths and the leading male cancer seen at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. The disease in its early stage may cause no symptoms but in its advanced state, one could experience trouble urinating, decreased force in the stream of urine, blood in urine, blood in semen, pain in bone, loss of weight without trying, and erectile dysfunction. The disease kills only when it has spread to other parts of the body. Other cancers that would be tracked under the Registry include breast, cervical, and all forms of childhood cancers. Prof Mensah called for awareness creation to enable men at higher risk of getting the disease, which included African men, and men with family history to conduct PSA blood tests and biopsies to see where the cancer cells were or start engaging their doctors early by age 40 and above for proper management. He said there were different types of prostate cancer, adding that many patients diagnosed with it might not ultimately die from it. He called on the Government, individuals, organizations, and philanthropists to support the Urological Department of KBTH to offer effective services to patients.

Source: Ghana News Agency