NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 9 – Medical Services Minister Anyang Nyong\’o is currently undergoing treatment in the United States after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Prof Nyong\’o revealed in an article that he has been undergoing treatment at the University of California San Francisco, Mount Zion since December 10.
He said that he was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in July last year during a routine medical check up in Nairobi.
"In July 2010, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in Nairobi. I have been taking my annual physical health examinations for several years and in July such an examination revealed a rather high level of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)," he stated in the article.
Mr Nyong\’o pointed out that the centre in the US has the best prostate cancer facilities in the world and top specialists.
"In my case after the biopsy was done at the MP Shah Hospital, the examination of the tissues revealed that I had a Gleason Score of 7. The Gleason Grading System is used to help evaluate the prognosis of men with prostate cancer," he said.
He further explained: "The pathologist assigns a grade to the most common tumour patterns, and a second grade to the next common tumour pattern. The two grades are added together to get a Gleason score. Each of the two ranges from 1 to 5; in my case the range was 3 plus 4, making a total of 7."
"This essentially meant that the cancer was aggressive, and needed urgent attention before it started invading the surrounding tissues or spreading to the rest of the body."
Prof Nyong\’o stated that he was currently undergoing a number of radiation therapies at US medical centre.
"I am currently undergoing Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) at the University of California San Francisco, Mount Zion Medical Centre. It is one of the best Prostate Cancer centres in the world, with two very well known prostate specialists, a surgeon and a radiologist," he stated.
When prostate cancer is detected in its early stage it can be cured through radiation or surgery by modern science and technology.
But if left for long so that it spreads beyond the gland, the story is rather different since it becomes more life threatening.
Prof Nyong\’o emphasised the importance of men knowing about their condition by having regular and proper physical examinations so as to live longer and healthier lives.
He admitted that Kenya has done poorly in the area of cancer prevention but says his ambition as Medical Services Minister is to improve diagnostic services.
"We do not have such facilities in Kenya at the moment. My ambition as the minister of Medical Services is that we do our best to have them so that ordinary Kenyans can have access to proper healthcare and live longer," he said.
In the article, he emphasised the need for Kenya to improve its diagnostic services so that both doctors and patients can know what ailments are on their way or are already affecting a patient.
He said that once diagnosis was done, there was need for proper facilities with trained personnel who can treat patients scientifically and effectively.
Prof Nyong\’o further decried the little progress that was being made with respect to the prevention of cancer and its treatment.
"We have done rather poorly in the area of cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment. In fact the situation in our country is simply deplorable and my heart bleeds for our people when I accept this," he stated.