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…

Sep 26, 2018 Word for Word Media
Prof Riana Bornman explains why black men have a higher risk of prostate cancer than white men in South Africa. South African Prostate Cancer Study (SAPCS) The SAPCS has revealed that black men in SA have a higher risk of prostate cancer. This is because of their elevated levels of prostate-specific antigen in the blood. This protein, known as PSA, is produced by both normal and malignant cells in the prostate gland and can signify prostate cancer risk. The focus of the research was on prostate cancer in black Southern African men of Bantu and Khoisan descent, to better understand…

Jul 27, 2018 Word for Word Media

Johan Drotskie shares how an unrelated bone marrow transplant saved his life. Johan Drotskie (47) lives in Randburg, Gauteng with his wife and their four-legged kids. Wednesday, 30 July 2003   The day had finally arrived. My family is gathered anxiously in the hospital room as we await the arrival of my unrelated donor bone marrow. A middle-aged gentleman enters the room with a cooler bag, extracts a drip bag with 100ml of bone marrow which he connects. An hour later, I have new bone marrow, a new chance at life and a brighter future.   Late 1994/early 1995   I decided to…

Jul 27, 2018 Word for Word Media

Routine screening tests are crucial for early diagnosis. Discovery Health highlights the most important screening tests for men. Screening tests, such as those available through the Discovery Health Medical Scheme Screening and Prevention Benefit, find diseases early when they are easier to treat.  For example, with early detection, colon cancer can be nipped in the bud while diagnosing diabetes early may help prevent complications, such as vision loss and impotence. It is estimated that nearly half (48,7%) of South Africans with high blood pressure (hypertension) have never been screened. Therefore, remain undiagnosed. They are unaware of their increased risk for heart…

Dec 1, 2017 Word for Word Media
Evidence suggests the variation in cancer rates in different parts of the world may be due, in part, to the dietary differences between populations. Jean Mills looks at the foods that increase and decrease the risk of prostate cancer. Most research on diet and prostate cancer has looked at how diet affects the risk of developing prostate cancer10. These dietary factors may affect the progression of the disease and/or treatment. Research on prostate cancer after diagnosis is still at an early stage but suggests that being a healthy weight, regular exercise, reducing saturated fat, eating tomato-based food and other…

Sep 28, 2017 Word for Word Media
Did you know that exercise lowers the risk of prostate cancer. Avinesh Pursad tells us more. Prostate cancer is a carcinoma of the prostate gland, found in the male reproductive system. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed within the South African male population and, in fact, is the second most common cancer diagnosed in the worldwide male population1,6,9. Risk factors of prostate cancer Worryingly, recent research shows  that the incidence of prostate cancer continues to rise in many countries1. It is therefore imperative to know the potential risk factors. Weight: A body mass index (BMI) of <30 is…

Sep 28, 2017 Word for Word Media
Not only did Ismail-Ian William Fife survive prostate cancer but also breast cancer. We hear how his battles birthed Can-Sir, a men’s cancer group, that has helped a substantial amount of men. Ismail-Ian William Fife (53) lives in De La Haye Avenue, Kenwyn, Cape Town with his wife, Bianca, and her 10-year-old twins, James and Jordan, and the family dog, Daisy. He has two adult sons from his first marriage. Prostate cancer At 40, Ismail-Ian was diagnosed with Stage 2B prostate cancer in 2004; a year and five months after his initial symptom – blood in urine – was detected…

Apr 12, 2017 Word for Word Media

As boys, we are told to be brave. As men, it’s much harder to talk about life, health or feelings than the latest sporting news. Men feel they aren’t allowed to open up, even to themselves, for fear of being seen as weak or unattractive. The pressure of the ‘traditional idea of masculinity’ stops most men from taking care of their health and allowing their emotions to be lived. Testicular cancer forced me to alter this.

At the age of 30, the diagnosis of testicular cancer hit me between the…