Several of the World Cup-winning Springboks have accepted teammate Faf de Klerk’s Speedo challenge to raise awareness for the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer. Have you taken the challenge? Men should take care and be aware of what is happening in their bodies. They shouldn’t wait for things to go bad before seeking medical attention for their different conditions. We would like to stretch the Faf challenge and not only look at testicular cancer but also learn more about prostate cancer.
In prostate cancer, normal cells undergo a transformation in which they not only grow and multiply without normal controls, but they also change in their microscopic appearance and can invade adjacent tissues. Prostate cancer cells form into malignant tumors or masses, which then overwhelm surrounding tissues by invading their space and taking vital oxygen and nutrients. Cancer cells from these tumors can eventually invade remote organs via the bloodstream and the lymphatic system.
Prostate Cancer is one of the big 5 cancers affecting men in South Africa. The lifetime risk for Prostate Cancer in men in South Africa, is 1 in 19, according to the 2014 National Cancer Registry. In many cases it can be a slow moving disease and does not result in death before other natural causes. This low death rate also suggests that increased public awareness with earlier detection and treatment has begun to affect mortality from this prevalent cancer.
The prostate is a walnut-sized gland of the male reproductive system, located just below the bladder. Prostate cancer often grows very slowly and may not cause significant harm, but some types are more aggressive and can spread quickly without treatment. In the early stages, men may have no symptoms. Later, symptoms can include frequent passing of urine, especially at night; difficulty starting or stopping urination; weak or interrupted urinary stream; painful or burning sensation during urination or ejaculation; blood in urine or semen. Advanced cancer can cause deep pain in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.
Risk factors for prostate cancer include age, ethnicity, family history, being obese or overweight and some dietary factors appear to increase risk. Men can lower their risk of prostate cancer by eating a healthy diet (including lots of fruit and vegetables), maintaining a healthy weight and limiting red meat and high fat dairy products.
Men need to go for simple screening tests to detect Prostate Cancer. Screening results in early detection, enabling more effective treatment and a better chance of recovery:
- Routine Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing, annually, from age 40 for all men at high risk of prostate cancer. This includes those men with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age (younger than 65 years)
- Routine Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing, annually, as from age 45 for all males who are at risk of prostate cancer. This includes men who have a history of prostate cancer on either the mother or father’s side, or with a first-degree relative (father, brother, or son) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than 65 years)
- Routine Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) testing, at least once every two (2) years, for all males from age 50
CANSA offers PSA screening to men 40 and older at their CANSA Care Centres & Mobile Health Clinics countrywide. You can get hold of them on 0800 22 66 22.
If you find yourself struggling with any sexual problems that are related to Early Ejaculation, Erectile Dysfunction, Low Libido, STI or Circumcision. Do get in touch with us to book a consultation with our professional doctors who specializes in Men’s Sexual Health.
Contact us using the following options and we will get back to you, SMS ‘Help” to 32110, Send a "please call me" to 072 315 2574 or Call us on 0860 362 867, Live Chat www.menshealth.co.za.