Nov 27, 2019 Word for Word Media
Dr Nirasha Chiranjan explains how prostate brachytherapy works. Prostate cancer Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide. Screening for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels have led to prostate cancer being increasingly diagnosed.  Common symptoms of prostate cancer are difficulty urinating, reduced stream of urine, blood in the semen, erectile dysfunction and discomfort in the pelvic area. The initial treatment options for patients with non-metastatic prostate cancer consists of active surveillance, radical prostatectomy and radiotherapy.  The choice of treatment is determined by clinical stage, PSA level, Gleason score, patient preference, life expectancy, patient functional status and resource availability1-3. What…

Nov 27, 2019 Word for Word Media
Dr Sithembile Ngidi goes into detail about the three types of hormone therapy for prostate cancer and their side effects. Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) agonists  Also called GnRH agonists, LHRH analogs, are injected as small implants under the skin. Depending on the drug used, they are given anywhere from once a month up to once a year e.g. leuprolide  and goserelin.  When LHRH agonists are first given, testosterone levels go up briefly before falling to very low levels. This effect is called testosterone flare and results from the complex way in which these drugs work.  Men who have urinary…

Nov 27, 2019 Word for Word Media
Chief Moabi tells us how he lives his life with prostate cancer, the side effects of hormone therapy, and how the Tsakane CanSurvive Support Group has helped him. Chief Moabi (67) lives in Tsakane, Gauteng with his wife, Nkele. They have one adult son (28) and two grandchildren. Four years ago, in 2015, Chief went to Tsakane Clinic for a check-up. He wasn’t in pain and was feeling fine. Though, every six months he would do a health check, checking for HIV, TB and the sorts. It was here where it was picked up that he may have prostate cancer. The…

Sep 30, 2019 Word for Word Media
Dr Sithembile Ngidi describes the different types of hormone therapy used to treat prostate cancer. To understand the who, what, where, why and how of hormone therapy, it’s important to start at the basics. That would be understanding the driving hormone behind prostate cancer and its treatment: testosterone.  Testosterone  This is the primary male hormone that’s key in the growth and function of sex organs, like the testes, prostate and other tissues.  Testosterone is an androgen (a natural steroid hormone) and promotes growth in tissues with androgen receptors. It exerts two types of effects on the body: Anabolic effects – growth of…

Sep 30, 2019 Word for Word Media
We hear how Pitso Majoro found out he had prostate cancer and how his wife, Marupine, dedicates her life to care for him. Pitso Majoro (81) lives in Soweto, Gauteng with his wife, Marupine. They have three adult children, two sons and a daughter, and one grandchild.  Diagnosed in 2016 In late December 2015, Pitso, then 77-years-old, complained about body pain, stiff muscles and insomnia. He also suffered urinary retention and constipation. Marupine rushed him to the emergency room. A urinary catheter was inserted and oral medication was prescribed. Five days later he was told to come in and get the catheter…

Jul 29, 2019 Word for Word Media
A surprisingly positive experience are not words that you would think would be associated with prostate cancer. Though, this is how Darren Robertson experienced his diagnosis. He tells us more. Darren Robertson (42) lives in Harfield Village, Cape Town with his wife, Loren and their daughter, Rebecca. Health check leads to diagnosis Darren never dreamt that he would be diagnosed with prostate cancer at the young age of 40, and never expected it to have been such a positive experience.  The financial planner decided to go for a full health check, in November 2018, because he was keen to boost his Discovery…

Jul 29, 2019 Word for Word Media
Dr Sithembile Ngidi educates us on the risk stratifying system of prostate cancer. Once a patient has been diagnosed and the tumour biological behaviour (personality) has been identified, treatment modalities are chosen, based on what risk profile the cancer falls into.  Parameters, such as prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level, Gleason score and T-staging, determine the risk profile. Other factors considered are patient choice, lifestyle, medical co-morbidities, risks and benefits, and life expectancy. I tell my patients to think of the risk profiles as dogs. Low-risk being your small friendly dogs, like a Chihuahua, which further divides into very low-risk and…

Mar 20, 2019 Word for Word Media
CANSA informs us of the top five cancers that affect men in South Africa. Elize Joubert, CANSA’s CEO, says that it is 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.”  With this said, below are the…

Mar 20, 2019 Word for Word Media
Prof Thinus Kruger shares the fertility options males have when faced with a cancer diagnosis. The diagnosis of cancer When the diagnosis of cancer is made, it’s often a frightening experience for patients. It’s foreign territory for the patient but not for the medical staff involved. Sadly, at times the oncologist may overlook the fertility preservation aspect, as the focus at the time is to treat and cure the cancer.  Germ cells sensitive to chemotherapy and radiation Chemotherapy and radiation with surgery are often involved in the treatment plan of these patients and can cause infertility. The function of the testes is to…

Mar 20, 2019 Word for Word Media
Prostate cancer survivor, James Howard, tells us how freezing his sperm before his prostatectomy  allowed him and his fiancé, Gayle de Hoog, to become parents. James (59) and Gayle (41) live in Newlands, Cape Town with their son, Luke (14 months). Gayle is currently pregnant with twins. When James was diagnosed with prostate cancer in December 2014, he and Gayle had just rekindled their relationship after a 16-year break. Gayle was living in the UK and had come over to SA for a holiday. She arranged to fly back to SA to care for him for a few weeks post treatment. After…

Feb 5, 2019 Word for Word Media

South Africa’s most daring 5km run is back and ready to raise eyebrows while raising awareness of male cancers. Men of all ages, shapes and sizes are called upon to help paint Jozi purple once again as the Hollard Daredevil Runreturns to the streets of Johannesburg on Friday 15 March 2019 to run cancer outta town. Kicking off at 15h00, the 5km fun run challenges the city’s bravest males to strip down to purple Speedos and run through the streets in the name of a good cause.  The “Run-not-a-race” encourages men of all ages, shapes and sizes to run five kilometres through peak…

Dec 3, 2018 Word for Word Media
Prostate cancer is the second commonest cancer diagnosed in men1, and the 6th leading cause of male cancer deaths across the globe. Data from Africa is lacking and dated. However, it seems that the diagnostic rates of prostate cancer are higher in Africa then globally2. Risk factors for prostate cancer Although we do not know what causes prostate cancer, we do know several risk factors for the disease. Prostate cancer is an androgen (male hormone)-dependent cancer. Hence, the biggest risk factor is age, due to longer exposure to androgens. Other risk factors include a family history of prostate cancer…