CANSA Urges Men Not to Delay Screening
23 October 2018 – Knowledge is power and can change the lives of men drastically if they are aware of early warning signs and symptoms of male cancers. The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) highlights these symptoms in November, in the hope that men will not delay screening.
Says Elize Joubert, CANSA’s CEO, “It’s of great concern that the number of men being diagnosed with late stage cancer is on the rise. Men need to be pro-active about their health and should recognise warning signs. We encourage monthly testicular self-examinations, annual medical check-ups and cancer screening for early detection, as symptoms don’t always present until cancer has spread. Men also need to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle, cutting out lifestyle factors that increase their cancer risk.”
Early detection improves treatment outcomes so CANSA shares knowledge to educate and lower the cancer and health risk regarding prostate, colorectal, lung, Kaposi sarcoma (a type of skin cancer), bladder and testicular cancer.
Prostate cancer affects 1 in 19 men in SA, often developing without any symptoms in the early stages. However when the disease is advanced, symptoms likely to occur include: straining to pass urine, leaking urine, bloody urine, and bone pain. If prostate cancer is diagnosed and treated early, the prognosis is often good. CANSA recommends regular screening from 40 years and up (especially if there is any family history of cancer) with a blood test called the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test to detect any prostate abnormalities, available at all CANSA Care Centres.
“CANSA is also funding a study conducted by Prof Riana Bornman (University Pretoria) that will contribute to the understanding of prostate cancer risk, disease progression and outcomes specifically in the South African population. We also coordinate the IRONMAN: International Registry for Men with Advanced Prostate Cancer study, funded by Movember and sponsored by the Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials Consortium. It’s a large global study of 5 000 men, evaluating the treatment and patient-reported outcomes for men with advanced prostate cancer, to determine the best way of managing advanced prostate cancer. It’s being implemented at five sites – Groote Schuur, Tygerberg, Steve Biko, Charlotte Maxeke and Rosebank Oncology,” added Joubert.
It’s estimated that 1 in 79 men have a lifetime risk of getting colorectal cancer. CANSA recommends a colonoscopy from the age of 50, every 10 years. Look out for symptoms of a change in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, stomach pain, weakness, and weight loss.
A side effect of colorectal cancer may include having a colostomy. CANSA offers pre- and post-operative counselling and support groups and stocks stoma brands and provides the lowest prices and delivery.
Symptoms often appear when the disease is advanced and may include shortness of breath, cough, a change in sputum, chest pain, noisy breathing, hoarseness, and coughing up blood. In men who stop smoking, the risk of developing lung cancer falls dramatically. Men wanting to quit smoking can sign up for CANSA’s Kick Butt online programme and find other resources to help them on the CANSA website.
The most common AIDS-related cancer world-wide, is Kaposi Sarcoma (KS) with 1 in 320 men having a life time risk of diagnosis. It causes patches of abnormal tissue to grow under the skin, in the lining of the mouth, nose, throat or in other organs. About one-third of people with classic KS develop another cancer which may be fatal.
CANSA is funding a study conducted at University of Cape Town by Dr Georgia Schafer to understand the epidemiology of the KS burden in the South African population with a high background HIV / AIDS prevalence. It will provide new opportunities for the development of risk evaluation of KS.
Bladder cancer is the 5th most common affecting men in SA with a lifetime risk of 1 in 152 men being diagnosed. The biggest factor that may reduce the risk for bladder cancer is to avoid smoking, which doubles the risk of bladder cancer. Although no screening is available, if there is blood in the urine, a change in urine colour, or the need to go frequently and / or burning pain, men are urged to go to a medical professional.
Testicular cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting men between ages of 15 and 49. Early detection may help improve survival rates and testicular self-examination each month, is an easy and effective way for men to look out for any unusual or abnormal signs. These include lumps, swelling and pain in the testicles and scrotum.
Testi-monials is a campaign created by FCB Cape Town for CANSA that set out to remove the awkwardness around talking about testicular cancer, and drive awareness about how important it is that men not only talk balls but take care of them too. The campaign features ‘testicles’ giving their own testi-monials about cancer and how they have been personally affected. They give advice on how to self-examine and help detect signs and symptoms.
How CANSA Helps
CANSA rolls out the ‘MANVan’ initiative through funds raised from the Hollard Daredevil event. This mobile health clinic provides free health checks, and support programmes, as well as raising awareness of male-specific cancers.
Joubert concludes, “Our support to cancer patients via our CANSA Care Centres country-wide includes medical equipment hire, wigs, counselling, support groups, online support groups and resources and CANSA Care Homes where patients receiving treatment far from home can stay during treatment.”
For more information, please contact Lucy Balona, Head: Marketing and Communication at CANSA at email email@example.com or call 011 616 7662 or mobile 082 459 5230.
CANSA offers a unique integrated service to the public and to all people affected by cancer. CANSA is a leading role-player in cancer research (more than R12 million spent annually) and the scientific findings and knowledge gained from our research are used to realign our health programmes, as well as strengthen our watchdog role to the greater benefit of the public.
Our health programmes comprise health and education campaigns; CANSA Care Centres that offer a wide range of care and support services to those affected by cancer; stoma and other clinical support and organisational management; medical equipment hire, as well as a toll-free line to offer information and support.
We also supply patient care and support in the form of 11 CANSA Care Homes in the main metropolitan areas for out-of-town cancer patients; a Wellness Centre based in Polokwane; and CANSA-TLC lodging for parents and guardians of children undergoing cancer treatment.
Visit www.cansa.org.za,or contact CANSA toll-free on 0800 22 66 22 or email firstname.lastname@example.org – follow CANSA on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram. CANSA offers multi-lingual support on WhatsApp: 0721979305 for English and Afrikaans, and 0718673530 for Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho and Siswati.