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Man up this November!

Afrikaanse Media Vrystelling

31 October 2017 – November is designated as Men’s Health Awareness month by CANSA and places the spotlight on the ‘Big Five’ leading types of cancer affecting men. #MensHealth

A balanced lifestyle and screening are essential in lowering the risk and recurrence of the disease, which currently afflicts one in seven men in South Africa during their lifetime.

The five leading cancers targeting South African men are prostate, colorectal, lung, Kaposi sarcoma (a type of skin cancer) and bladder. Read more…

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While some disease risk factors cannot be controlled such as family history, age and race, others can be minimised by following a wholesome eating plan, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, avoiding alcohol intake as well as doing regular exercise. Read more about a balanced lifestyle…

Prostate cancer, the no. 1 cancer, affecting one in 18 men in our country, often develops without any symptoms in the early stages. However when the disease is advanced, symptoms are likely to occur that 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. Screening is undertaken with a blood test called the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test to detect any prostate abnormalities. Available at all CANSA Care Centres. #CANSAscreening

Jacob Skosana, prostate cancer survivor says, “Honestly, I wouldn’t on my own consult my GP and ask them to test me for cancer. It never dawned on me that I might have cancer. When the results came back following a blood test at a CANSA wellness day, they indicated that my PSA levels were high. I was immediately referred to a specialist who confirmed that I had prostate cancer. I’m grateful for the workplace wellness programme and thankful to CANSA.”

Currently underway are three CANSA research projects led by Dr Karl-Heinz Storbeck , Dr Serafin and Prof Bornman, that look for clinical markers of prostate cancer that can serve as an indicator of a specific biological state or condition. This research could assist in identifying prostate cancer earlier, as well as men more at risk for prostate cancer. #CANSAresearch

Colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum), is the second most common cancer and it is estimated that 1 in 75 SA men will develop colorectal cancer. In early stages symptoms are not present, however when they do occur, they include a change in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, stomach pain, weakness, and weight loss.

CANSA encourages early detection and screening by means of a colonoscopy, starting at age 50 and repeated every 10 years depending on the individual’s risk factors. Faecal occult blood tests are offered at most CANSA Care Centres that look for microscopic blood in the faeces, which may be a sign of a growth, inflammation or bleeding in the digestive system.

Coming in third is lung cancer with estimates that 1 in 76 SA men will develop lung cancer. When symptoms appear, they include shortness of breath, cough, a change in sputum, chest pain, noisy breathing, hoarseness, and coughing up blood. Smoking accounts for the majority of preventable lung cancers, and the best way to prevent the disease is to not use tobacco products and avoid second-hand smoke. #NoTobacco

The most common AIDS-related cancer world-wide, is Kaposi Sarcoma (KS) which is the fourth most prevalent cancer in South African men. Approximately 1 in 315 South African males are affected with KS which sees patches of abnormal tissue 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 can be fatal.

And the fifth most common cancer in South African men is bladder cancer affecting 1 in 148 men. The largest risk factor that can be avoided is smoking, which doubles the chance of bladder cancer. No screening is available, however blood in the urine, a change in urine colour, the need to go frequently and burning pain are some of the symptoms.

Testicular cancer is common amongst young South African men aged between 15 and 39 years with one in 2 084 men affected by this cancer. Early detection improves the survival rate and the symptoms appear in both the testicles and scrotum and include lumps, swelling and pain. The testicular self-examination each month, is an easy and effective way for men to look out for any unusual or abnormal signs.

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 will give advice on how to self-examine and help detect signs and symptoms. Visit the Testi-monials website for more info.

CANSA also 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.


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.

Queries CANSA

Visit or contact CANSA toll-free on 0800 22 66 22 or email – 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.


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