This study was designed to investigate the influence of Prostate cancer awareness campaigns on the knowledge, attitude and practices of men in South-Eastern Nigeria. The study used survey research design through the instrumentality of questionnaire (twenty-eight items questionnaire was used as instrument for data collection). The population of the study is 8,184,951 adult males in South-Eastern Nigeria. Five research questions guided the study. The data was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). The result of the data analyzed revealed that the awareness and knowledge level on prostate cancer is relatively low among the men in South-Eastern Nigeria. Also, most information on prostate cancer were made known to the respondents by medical practitioners, however, those respondents that are exposed to the campaigns agreed that the campaigns have influenced their behavior positively.



1.1 Background of the Study

Cancer is the growth disorder of cells in the body. Clinically, it can be defined as a large number (up to a hundred) of complex diseases that behave differently depending on the cell types from which they originate (William, Klug, 2009, p.513). It is a genetic disease which is caused by mutation that has dominated other cells. In 2000, there were 1,220,100 reported cases of new cancers and 552,200 cancer deaths, indicating that roughly half of the people who develop cancer die from it (William, Klug,, 2009, p.513). Statistics emanating from different health organisations and agencies around the world indicate that there are over 16 million new cases of cancer globally. This figure, according to World Health Organization (WHO) 2011report, is likely to double in 2020 (Chustecka, 2011, p.1). The rapid spread of this disease to a large extent is as a result of unawareness of its early symptoms which can be treated at its early stage when detected. Cells proliferation and metastasis nature of cancer has made it worst, this has resulted to its fast spread (cancer) in human body. Cell proliferation has to do with the division of cells into multiple units which can be said to be characterized by abnormal cell growth. On the other hand, metastasis is a process that allows these cells to spread to other parts of the body. The painful aspect of this disease is the ability to combine both cell proliferation and metastatic, this makes it more dangerous. (Peter & George, 2002, p. 367).

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), in 2008 gave an estimate of over 681,000 and 512,400 new cases of cancer. These figures have increased to 1.4 million cases and 714 thousand deaths in 2010 (IARC Report 2010, p.3). The three most deadly human cancers are cancer of the lung, cancer of the colon and breast cancer. However, lung cancer is largely preventable, most of these cases result from smoking cigarettes (American Cancer Society, 2000, p. 13). There are several causes of cancer, notable among them is the genetic factor. John Hill, an English physician in 1761 discovered that some tumors which can develop to cancer are caused by chemicals. Percival Pott, also made a similar discovery, he discovered that heavy snuff users are exposed to cancer. The 1966 Nobel Prize winner in medicine, Peyton, Rous discovered another cause of cancer. He found out that virus can cause cancer in human (Peter & George, 2002, p. 368). Peter and George, (2002, p. 369), stated that, one out of every three children born will contract cancer at some time during their lives. While one-fourth of the male children and one-third of the female children will someday die of cancer. One begins to wonder what will be the fate of developing nations since the level of knowledge and awareness of this disease is relatively poor in these nations.

The most deadly disease in men is prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is a type of cancer which only affects men. It is the second leading cause of death in men. (World Cancer Report 2011, p.4). It occurs when tumor begins to grow in the prostate gland of male reproductive system. The word “prostate” means “one standing in front”. The prostate is so called because of its position, which is directly at the base of the bladder. It is estimated that 241,740 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed in 2012 in America and out of this number, 28,170 patients will die from this disease (America Cancer Society, 2012, p. 23). This is to show the low level of awareness and attention given to this disease that is gradually sending most men to the grave. Developing nations are seriously at disadvantage when it comes to knowledge.