Published On: Wed, Feb 14th, 2018

Prostate cancer often occurs in men over 50s — Dr.Akinpelu

Dr. Samson Akinpelu

Dr. Samson Akinpelu is a renowned Lagos based herbal practitioner, who specializes in the treatment of conditions such as prostate cancer, strokes, rheumatism, chronic toothache and other debilitating diseases. However, he is also senior pastor of Living God Freedom Ministries.

In this interview with BusinessHallmark’s Adebayo Obajemu, he bares his mind on issues around prostate cancer, the problems and challenges of alternative medicine, the perception that alternative medicine is barbaric and evil among other issues.  Excerpts…

There is this perception that a Christian cannot be an herbal healer, since most people believe herbalists are satanic, what is your view?

Thank you; to be precise I will use this opportunity to correct the impression that herbalists are satanic or agents of Satan. The Bible talks of using herbs to cure the ailments of the body, and that all things God created is good. God further enjoined us to be eating roots and herbs. There is nothing satanic about it.

Herbal healers are different from juju or voodoo priests, those who use sorcery, enchantment and hypnotism, and work directly with fallen angels. Herbal healers only use potency of leaves to cure various illnesses. It is not everybody that knows that each leaf has its own potency, but there are some families that are inheritors of the esoteric knowledge of the potency of various leaves.

My family down to the third generation back in times has dealt in healing people who are afflicted with various diseases such prostate cancer, chronic cough of all shades, general weakness of the body and other ailments. So, it is wrong to equate herbal cure with Satanism; that misconception comes from the Europeans who were surprised at the advanced nature of African herbs, stole the secret and repackaged it into drugs. It was a mental game to paint Africa black. What did they use for drugs? Are they not Herbal components?

Now, let us talk about prostate cancer, how can it be cured, since the conventional wisdom in medicine is that it can only be managed not cured?

Prostate cancer is the sickness that often starts from the middle age of 50 and above, and is associated with men, it is like fibroid. It is not gonnorrehea, its symptom is painful fitful piss, that comes dripping and comes with pains at the waist. Gonorrhea comes with pus, but prostate cancer does not exhibit that feature. As it develops, if not treated it can block the pipe and the afflicted may not be able to piss.

Often, orthodox medicine recommends operation, and that comes with its own complications. But, as far as alternative medicine is concerned it can be treated within three weeks, as the herbs that will be applied will flush out the sediment that blocks the passage of urine. It is better treated if detected early. It is better sufferer contacts orthodox medical doctor or a licensed herbal healer.

Strokes have become pervasive in our society, what is the reason behind its upsurge in recent years?

Stroke is a major challenge in the country, and it is associated with psychological trauma, stress, harsh economic condition and deep thinking. It is caused by high blood pressure. When one takes too much alcohol and cigarettes, the tendency to have stroke is there. Any man that is addicted to sex, especially if the person is above 50 runs the risk of having stroke.

There are some herbs that are used to cure strokes that are very effective and potent. Curing stroke, diabetes and STDs depending on the intensity ranges from one to three weeks.  The problem here is the wrong perception many people have about alternative medicine, each region of the world holds on to their traditional heritage. The Chinese use acupuncture to treat illnesses, we should learn to hold on to our own things. The most important thing is to decolonise our thinking

How does prostate cancer begin?

It usually starts in the glandular cells. This is known as adenocarcinoma. Tiny changes occur in the shape and size of the prostate gland cells, known as prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN). This tends to happen slowly and does not show symptoms until further into the progression.

Nearly 50 percent of all men over the age of 50 years have PIN. High-grade PIN is considered pre-cancerous, and it requires further investigation. Low-grade PIN is not a cause for concern.

Prostate cancer can be successfully treated if it is diagnosed before metastasis, but if it spreads, it is more dangerous. It most commonly spreads to the bones.

Staging takes into account the size and extent of the tumour and the scale of the metastasis (whether it has traveled to other organs and tissues).

At Stage 0, the tumor has neither spread from the prostate gland nor invaded deeply into it. At Stage 4, the cancer has spread to distant sites and organs.

What about its diagnosis?

Prostate cancer affects the prostate gland, the gland that produces some of the fluid in semen and plays a role in urine control in men. The prostate gland is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum.

In the United States (U.S.), it is the most common cancer in men, but it is also treatable if found in the early stages. In Nigeria, it is pervasive among men.  In 2017, the American Cancer Society predicts that there will be around 161,360 new diagnoses of prostate cancer, and that around 26,730 fatalities will occur because of it.

Regular testing is crucial as the cancer needs to be diagnosed before metastasis.

What are the symptoms?

There are usually no symptoms during the early stages of prostate cancer. However, if symptoms do appear, they usually involve one or more of the following: frequent urges to urinate, including at night difficulty commencing and maintaining urination, blood in the urine, painful urination and, less commonly, ejaculation, difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection may be difficult

Can you enlighten us on treatment?

Treatment is different for early and advanced prostate cancers.

Early stage prostate cancer

If the cancer is small and localized, it is usually managed by one of the following treatments:

Watchful waiting or monitoring: PSA blood levels are regularly checked, but there is no immediate action. The risk of side-effects sometimes outweighs the need for immediate treatment for this slow-developing cancer.

Radical prostatectomy: The prostate is surgically removed. Traditional surgery requires a hospital stay of up to 10 days, with a recovery time of up to 3 months. Robotic keyhole surgery involves a shorter hospitalization and recovery period, but it can be more expensive. Patients should speak to their insurer about coverage.

Brachytherapy: Radioactive seeds are implanted into the prostate to deliver targeted radiation treatment.

Conformal radiation therapy: Radiation beams are shaped so that the region where they overlap is as close to the same shape as the organ or region that requires treatment. This minimizes healthy tissue exposure to radiation.

Intensity modulated radiation therapy: Beams with variable intensity are used. This is an advanced form of conformal radiation therapy.

In the early stages, patients may receive radiation therapy combined with hormone therapy for 4 to 6 months.

Treatment recommendations depend on individual cases. The patient should discuss all available options with their urologist or oncologist.

Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), or androgen suppression therapy, is a hormone treatment that reduces the effect of androgen. Androgens are male hormones that can stimulate cancer growth. ADT can slow down and even stop cancer growth by reducing androgen levels.

Even if the hormone therapy stops working after a while, there may be other options. Participation in clinical trials is one option that a patient may wish to discuss with the doctor.

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