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J Natl Med Assoc. Mar 1999; 91(3): 159–164.
PMCID: PMC2608450

Increased incidence of prostate cancer in Nigerians.

Abstract

An increased incidence of prostate cancer among African-American men (now the second most common cause of cancer death) has been attributed mainly to the introduction of screening techniques, which have enabled earlier diagnosis of patients. This study reviewed male cancer patients recorded in a Nigerian cancer registry to assess the current trends in prostate cancer in Nigeria. For comparison, data were broken into two groups: 1980-1988 and 1989-1996. Only the top 10 cancers occurring in both periods were considered initially in this report. For emphasis, an analysis of adult male cancers was done per decade since 1960. Results show that prostate cancer has become the number one cancer in Nigerian men and constitutes 11% of all male cancers. The median age of patients was 67.5 years (variance 5.6), and the mean age was 71.4 years (variance 14.3). These results indicate that despite the absence of screening programs in Nigeria, the number of prostate cancer cases has increased. The known risk factors probably contribute to a varying degree among Nigerians, who are generally of average build or in the low-normal range for body mass index. Moreover, the role of genetics cannot be underplayed. Given its biological characteristics, more cases of prostate cancer probably would be recorded among this population if screening were undertaken.

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Selected References

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