One afternoon, Mr. Njau, a middle aged typical African man, came to my clinic for his annual medical checkup. He was accompanied by his dear wife and they both looked distraught. On enquiry, Mrs. Njau told me that her husband had passed bloody urine the previous night. Mr. Njau, however, was not concerned and dismissed his wife, saying that she was just over-reacting as usual. However, Mrs. Njau would hear none of it, this was a serious thing.
I decided to probe further and Mr. Njau uncomfortably revealed that on a few occasions, he’s been experiencing some pain while passing urine as well as straining. So I decided to do a prostate exam (digital rectal exam) which was seemed normal, except I felt a small painless swelling the prostate. I requested a PSA (prostate specific antigen) test which came back higher than expected, at 15ng/dl (normal range is 0-4ng/dl).
Having explained to them about it, I sent them to the surgeon for a prostate biopsy. The report came back 1 week later; it was cancerous (adenocarcinoma). We did further test and confirmed that it was only in stage 2(not yet advanced).
We were lucky; we started treatment as soon as possible. 9 months later, with regular hospital visits & PSA checks he is doing well! He couldn’t be more grateful to his wife.
See how easy it is to miss some things? See how easily he assumed this was a small problem? A regular annual doctor’s checkup, could be lifesaving. Had this “incident” been ignored, the cancer could have grown to stage 4(advanced) where we could have done very little about it!
This November, as we create prostate cancer awareness, please get yourself checked. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!!!!!!