top of page

ABOUT THE MILLENNIUM FELLOWSHIP - CLASS OF 2023

United Nations Academic Impact and MCN are proud to partner on the Millennium Fellowship. 44,000+ student leaders from 3,300+ campuses across 170+ nations applied to join the Class of 2023. 260+ campuses worldwide (just 9%) in 38 countries were selected to host 4,000+ Millennium Fellows for the Class of 2023.

unaimcn.png

UNITED NATIONS ACADEMIC IMPACT AND MCN PROUDLY PRESENT ARRAH TAKOW, A MILLENNIUM FELLOW FOR THE CLASS OF 2023.

University of Bamenda | Bamenda, Cameroon | Advancing SDG 3 & UNAI 3

FELLOW.jpg

Millennium Fellowship Project: Healthy Prostate- Quality Life

HEALTHY PROSTATE- QUALITY LIFE

Abstract:
This project aims to raise awareness about the importance of maintaining a healthy prostate and preventing prostate-related health issues. It provides a comprehensive overview of the prostate gland, common prostate problems, risk factors, preventive measures, and lifestyle modifications that promote prostate health. By disseminating accurate information, this project aims to empower individuals to make informed decisions about their prostate health and encourage them to adopt healthy habits to reduce the risk of prostate-related diseases.

1. Introduction:
- Definition and function of the prostate gland

The Prostate is a gland of the male reproductive system. Walnut-sized and weighs 20grams. It is conical in shape and consist of a base, an apex, an anterior, a posterior and 2 lateral surfaces.
Location:
-Anterior to rectum,
-Just distal to bladder,
-Encircling the neck of the bladder and urethra

SURGICAL ANATOMY
The contemporary classification of the prostate into different zones was based on the work of McNeal. He showed that it is divided into the peripheral zone (PZ), which lies mainly posteriorly and from which most carcinomas arise, and a
central zone (CZ), which lies posterior to the urethral lumen and above the ejaculatory ducts as they pass through the prostate; the two zones are rather like an egg in an eggcup. There is also a periurethral transitional zone (TZ), from which most benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) arises. Smooth muscle cells are found throughout the prostate but, in the upper part of the prostate and bladder neck, there is a separate sphincter muscle that subserves a sexual function, closing during ejaculation. Resection of this tissue during prostatectomy is responsible for retrograde ejaculation. The distal striated urethral sphincter muscle is found at the junction of the prostate and the membranous urethra; it is horse shoe shaped with the bulk lying anteriorly and is quite distinct from the muscle of the pelvic floor.

- Importance of prostate health
Prostate health is of utmost importance for men as the prostate gland plays a vital role in their overall well-being. Here are some key reasons highlighting the importance of prostate health:

1. Prevention of Prostate Problems: Maintaining a healthy prostate is crucial for preventing common prostate problems such as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), prostatitis, and prostate cancer. These conditions can cause urinary difficulties, pain, discomfort, and other complications that can significantly impact a man's quality of life.

2. Early Detection of Prostate Cancer: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, and early detection is key to successful treatment. Regular prostate screenings, including the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and digital rectal examination (DRE), can help detect prostate cancer at an early stage when it is more treatable.

3. Improved Urinary Function: The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. When the prostate becomes enlarged or inflamed, it can obstruct the flow of urine, leading to urinary symptoms like frequent urination, weak urine flow, and incomplete emptying of the bladder. Maintaining a healthy prostate can help prevent such urinary difficulties.

4. Sexual Health: The prostate gland is involved in sexual function. It produces seminal fluid, which nourishes and transports sperm. Prostate problems, such as prostatitis or an enlarged prostate, can cause sexual dysfunction, including erectile dysfunction and ejaculatory problems. By promoting a healthy prostate, men can help maintain their sexual health and function.

5. Overall Well-being: Prostate problems can cause physical discomfort, emotional distress, and a reduced quality of life. By prioritizing prostate health, men can minimize the risk of developing these conditions and enjoy better overall well-being.

6. Longevity and Aging: As men age, the risk of prostate problems, including prostate cancer, increases. By actively taking steps to maintain prostate health, men can potentially improve their chances of living a longer and healthier life.

It is crucial for men to be proactive in monitoring and maintaining their prostate health. This includes regular check-ups, adopting a healthy lifestyle, and being aware of any changes or symptoms related to the prostate. By doing so, men can reduce the risk of developing prostate problems and improve their overall health and well-being.

2. Understanding Prostate Problems:
- Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH)
Benign prostatic hyperplasia, commonly known as BPH, is a non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. As men age, hormonal changes can cause the prostate to grow, leading to urinary symptoms such as frequent urination, weak urine flow, and difficulty starting or stopping urination. BPH is a prevalent condition among older men but does not increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. Treatment options for BPH include medication, minimally invasive procedures, and surgery.

- Prostatitis
Prostatitis refers to inflammation of the prostate gland, which can be caused by bacterial infection or other non-infectious factors. Symptoms of prostatitis may include pain or discomfort in the pelvic region, frequent urination, pain during urination or ejaculation, and flu-like symptoms. Treatment depends on the underlying cause and may involve antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication, pain relievers, and lifestyle modifications.

- Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. It occurs when abnormal cells in the prostate gland grow uncontrollably, forming a tumor. Prostate cancer often develops slowly and may not cause noticeable symptoms in the early stages. As the disease progresses, symptoms can include urinary problems, blood in the urine or semen, erectile dysfunction, and bone pain. Early detection through regular screenings, such as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests and digital rectal exams, is crucial for successful treatment. Treatment options for prostate cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy, depending on the stage and aggressiveness of the cancer.

3. Risk Factors for Prostate Problems:
- Age
- Family history
- Ethnicity
- Lifestyle factors

4. Maintaining a Healthy Prostate:
- Regular medical check-ups and screenings
- Diet and nutrition recommendations
- Importance of physical activity
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Managing stress levels
- Avoidance of smoking and excessive alcohol consumption

5. Prostate Health Supplements:
- Overview of commonly used supplements, Evidence-based benefits and limitations

1. Saw Palmetto: Saw palmetto is a popular herbal supplement commonly used for BPH. It is believed to work by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is involved in the development of BPH. However, the evidence regarding its effectiveness is mixed, and more research is needed.

2. Pygeum: Pygeum is derived from the bark of the African plum tree and is often used in combination with saw palmetto for BPH. It has been suggested to have anti-inflammatory and anti-androgenic properties. Some studies have shown potential benefits in reducing urinary symptoms associated with BPH, but further research is required.

3. Beta-Sitosterol: Beta-sitosterol is a plant sterol found in various fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. It is commonly used as a dietary supplement for BPH. Some studies suggest that beta-sitosterol may help improve urinary symptoms and urine flow in men with BPH, but the evidence is not conclusive.

4. Zinc: Zinc is an essential mineral that plays a role in prostate health. It is involved in various enzymatic processes and supports immune function. Some studies have suggested that zinc supplementation may help reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer, but more research is needed to establish a definitive link.

5. Vitamin D: Vitamin D is important for overall health, including prostate health. Some studies have suggested a potential link between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of prostate cancer. However, more research is needed to determine the role of vitamin D supplementation in preventing or treating prostate pathologies.

6. Green Tea: Green tea contains compounds called catechins, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies have suggested that green tea catechins may have a protective effect against prostate cancer. However, the evidence is limited, and further research is required.

7. Fish Oil/Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fish oil supplements, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, have been studied for their potential benefits in prostate health. Some research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of prostate cancer. However, more studies are needed to establish a definitive link.


6. Early Detection and Screening:
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test
- Digital Rectal Examination (DRE)
- Discussion on controversies and limitations
For this project, the screening technique used was discussion and filling of questionnaires;
This questionnaire made use of International prostate symptom score (IPSS).

7. Promoting Prostate Health at Different Life Stages:
- Prostate health considerations for young adults
- Middle-aged men and proactive measures
- Prostate health in older adults who are the main targets.

8. Patient Education and Empowerment:
- Importance of awareness and education
1. Early Detection: Prostate pathologies, including benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer, can often be asymptomatic in the early stages. By raising awareness and educating individuals about the signs, symptoms, and risk factors associated with these conditions, men are more likely to seek medical attention and undergo appropriate screening tests. Early detection can lead to timely interventions and potentially better treatment outcomes.

2. Risk Factors and Prevention: Awareness and education help individuals understand the risk factors associated with prostate pathologies. For example, age, family history, race, and certain lifestyle factors can increase the risk of developing prostate cancer. By knowing these risk factors, individuals can make informed decisions about their health, adopt preventive measures, and discuss screening options with their healthcare providers.

3. Treatment Options: Prostate pathologies have various treatment options, ranging from lifestyle modifications and medications to surgical interventions. Awareness and education help individuals understand these treatment options, their benefits, potential side effects, and associated risks. This knowledge empowers individuals to actively participate in shared decision-making with their healthcare providers and choose the most appropriate treatment plan based on their specific circumstances.

4. Quality of Life: Prostate pathologies can significantly impact a man's quality of life. For example, BPH can cause bothersome urinary symptoms, while prostate cancer and its treatments can have physical, emotional, and sexual implications. By promoting awareness and education, individuals can learn about strategies to manage symptoms, cope with the emotional aspects of the condition, and access support resources that can improve their overall well-being.

5. Support and Advocacy: Awareness and education foster a supportive environment for individuals affected by prostate pathologies. It encourages open discussions, reduces stigma, and creates opportunities for individuals to connect with support groups, advocacy organizations, and healthcare professionals specializing in prostate health. This support network can provide valuable information, emotional support, and resources to navigate the challenges associated with prostate pathologies.


9. Conclusion:
By disseminating this project, individuals will gain knowledge about the prostate gland, understand common prostate problems, learn about risk factors, and discover practical steps to maintain a healthy prostate throughout their lives. Ultimately, the project aims to promote a proactive approach to prostate health and reduce the burden of prostate-related diseases in the community.

About the Millennium Fellow

I am Takow Estwil Arrah, a 23 year old female, a native of the South West Region, though born and resident in the North West Region of Cameroon. She is a 6th year medical student, studying at the Faculty of Health Science, University of Bamenda. Arrah is the second of 4 siblings. Academically, she has been the social secretary for the university of Bamenda Medical students’ Association for a one year mandate, and also the Treasurer of this same association for a year’s mandate. Arrah enjoys dancing, traveling and listening to music.

bottom of page