Attitude of a discrete group of Nigerian male doctors towards prostate cancer screening
Introduction: Prostate cancer is the commonest cancer among Nigerian males . Screening for prostate cancer is a topical issue among doctors as some studies have not conclusively shown higher survival rate among patients who had their pathology detected early. Taking into consideration the uncertainty surrounding prostate cancer screening, coupled with the fact that doctors are most of the time overwhelmed with solving the problems of their patients while neglecting their personal health. This study assesses the attitude of a discrete group of Nigerian doctors towards prostate cancer screening.
Objective: To assess the attitude towards prostate cancer screening of male medical doctors in public hospitals in Benin City, Nigeria.
Methodology: This was a cross-sectional study carried out over a period of six months at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) and the Central Hospital Benin City. It involved all male doctors, 40 years and above. Data were collected using a well-structured self-administered questionnaire, collated and subjected to statistical analysis.
Result: The study involved 214 male doctors. One hundred and fifty two of them practice in UBTH, while 62 of them practice in Central Hospital. The mean (standard deviation) age of the respondents was 48.5 (6.3) years. Ninety five percent (205) of the respondents had positive attitude towards prostate cancer screening. The main factors indicated by the respondents that affect individual decision to undergo prostate cancer screening were: the cost of screening [151 (70.6%)], lack of awareness [138 (64.5%)], fear of being stigmatized [97 (45.3%)] and fear of having a positive test [91 (42.5%)]. The least indicated was cultural barriers [42 (19.6%)].
Conclusion: The attitude of the respondents for prostate cancer screening is good despite the challenges with recommendation against community screening by international health management system. The main factors identified by respondents as militating against screening should be given proper attention in order to reduce the scourge of this highly prevalent pathology among Nigerians.
Keywords: prostate cancer, screening, attitude, male doctors, Benin City
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