I have reproduced the piece I did on Prostate Cancer. This is because of the newsreport about Christian Chukwu’s prostate cancer ailment.
If the story is not true, we rejoice with Mr. Chukwu, but if it is, there is a great hope of successful treatment, even in Nigeria.
This piece will be of immense assistance to Christian Chukwu.
It is about a patient who survived prostate gland cancer. The earlier the surgery is done the better, so that it will not spread to the other parts of the body. Read on…
‘How I survived prostate gland cancer’
This is a true-life story told by an anonymous patient. The aim of this column is to enlighten people about all kinds of ailments and the best way to treat them.
It all began in 2010 when suddenly the force of my urinating lowered to almost dropping. I thought it will change, but it became worse and in 2016, precisely February 16, I could not urinate. I was rushed to the hospital at Maryland. It was diagnosed I had enlarged prostate gland.
My doctor asked me to pay N820,000 for the surgery of the gland. When I could not raise the money, my bladder bloated and began hitting my kidneys. My face, hands and legs got swollen.
For a cheaper surgery I tried two government hospitals. Nobody could find out that my bladder was swollen. I did test for kidney problem in one of the hospitals and they told me I did not have that dreadful disease. That day I celebrated because many lay people have been loudly suspecting I had a kidney problem.
In January, 2017 my case became worst and someone recommended one hospital in Old Ojo Road, Opposite Festac Town. Cards for new patients are sold for N2,000, but if you request to see the Medical Director (MD), then you must pay N6,000, which I paid. I was left with N1,000 only.
When the doctor saw my swollen body he asked me to lie down on the stretcher for screening. As he was screening, he showed me my swollen bladder. He also showed me the battered kidneys with black patches all over.
When he finished the screening, he exclaimed: “I won’t let you go!” He took me to the theatre and put a hole under my navel and connected a urine bag to the catheter he planted there. The time was 12noon. Immediately urine started gushing out. He told me that without being attacked by the bloated bladder that my kidneys might get healed and my swollen body will get normal. That later came true.
Before the surgery he did not tell me what my bill was. He speedily acted just to save my life. My bill was N131,000! I told him that I did not have the money, but that I would pay. He asked me for assurance. I replied: “I’m your Christian brother, and because of our heavenly Father I can never disappoint you.” He allowed me to go home and a few days later I settled the bill. God sent someone as a blessing to me. And out of pity she settled the bill for me.
On my subsequent visit to the doctor, he told me I needed to remove the enlarged prostate gland. And he had to do biopsy to ascertain if the gland had gone cancerous. The biopsy cost N85,000 and they did not find cancer. They told me I was cancer-free, according to the test. I jubilated. But the doctor told me that biopsy is not 100 per cent reliable. He feared that my PCV had refused to grow beyond 26 per cent and that was a sign that cancer was gulping my blood. We did biopsy –taking of flesh from five spots on the prostate gland – to find out whether the gland was actually cancerous.
The test showed it was not cancerous and I jumped up for joy. But the Medical Director told me that picking flesh from five spots on the gland is not always revealing the true state of the gland as parts of the gland picked may not be cancerous, whereas the gland is actually cancerous.
My blood was taken to a special laboratory, and it was at last confirmed that my gland was cancerous. I immediately gave way to tears, thinking I was on the terminal rung of my life.
But the assistant doctor to the Medical Director told me that if he must have a cancer and must choose the type he wants, he said he will choose prostate cancer, because it is treatable.
He explained that all he must do will be to lose his testes. Still a bachelor, he said without testes he would not bear children and he would still be happy to live.
As for me in my 60’s, I had already got five grown-up children, so I quickly submitted to losing my testes.
But I also asked them, what will happen to my beautiful wife? Dr. Kay (as he is fondly called) and the MD laughed hysterically before calmly comforting me that I could still enjoy sex. “But it would be like shooting without bullet. No more ejaculation,” they chorused.
Another fear was the possibility of the cancer having spread beyond the gland.
Immediately, I began praying constantly in my heart. And a date was fixed – July 23, 2017.
That was my first major operation. Under 45 minutes, my testes were excised.
And thanks to God my blood count under 30 per cent quickly shot above 30 in a short while, indicating that the cancer did not spread.
I am now almost fully recovered. But I still have a hole in my stomach where a catheter is attached for urinating. The hole has been there since January, 2017.
And now my doctor is insisting I need N1.6 million to close the hole through channeling my urethra to cut off the gland that is still covering the ‘road’ to urinating.
Now that the gland is cancer-free, why can it not be cut off so that I can urinate easily? Once a prostate gland is diagnosed cancerous, it automatically becomes inoperable.
According to the doctor, his partners in India will come with their robotic doctor and do the channeling.
Before my testes were removed to kill the cancer in my gland if it had not spread to other parts of my body, Dr. Kay told me that testes produce testosterone that fuels the growth of cancer. And that if the testes were no longer there, cancer would cease getting its sustenance from the testes and it would naturally die.
It is one year and seven months that the surgery to ‘kill’ cancer was performed on me. One natural symptom of cancer is anaemia, and I am now free from it. Dr. Kay had predicted that after the removal of my testes and the cancer had gone that my blood percentage would automatically begin to grow. And that is what I am enjoying today.
The surgery performed on me is good for men my age, who had got all the children they wanted.
A young man who has not got children will be disadvantaged to lose two important organs in child making. The gland supplies the water for conveying the sperm from the testes to the woman.
If the gland is cancerous, the only way to remove the cancer is to remove the testes. At this point, the gland cannot be removed any longer (it is inoperable, according to doctors) It is diseased and cannot produce water. And if now the testes are removed, the man has no sperm bank any longer.
Whether the man has children or not, it is always important to save life and the surgery has to be carried. And fortunately, prostate cancer affects men from their 50’s.
In rare cases of young men whose glands are not yet cancerous, to preserve the prospect of child-bearing, the best treatment is chemo-therapy.
A friend of mine had the problem before he got married. Thank God his mother-in-law was in a network that had the drugs for treating gland enlargement; he was administered with the drugs. He became well, got married and today has three children.
But what really causes prostate gland enlargement and prostate cancer?
Some people say it is caused by lack of frequent sex (ejaculations). Others say, tight pants and holding urine for a long time can also cause it.
Agency reports have it that there are no concrete evidences of what causes prostate gland enlargement/ cancer.
Scientists, according to the reports, monitored 32,000 men for 18 years, and came to agree that men who ejaculated at least 21 times a month have a 20 per cent lower chance of getting prostate cancer to men who do it four or seven times a month.
It is now believed that the more men ejaculate in a month, the less likely they are to get prostate cancer.
The report said scientists still have much to learn about the causes of cancer.
However, Dr. Kay has promised to shed more light on the problem this week in an interview.
To be continued