Apr 12, 2017 Sandra

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…

Mar 22, 2017 Sandra

As men age, their prostates become larger causing difficulty in urinating. This is known as benign prostatic hypertrophy and is not cancerous, but one out of six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer (PC) during their lifetime, and PC treatments can affect sexual functioning.

What is a prostate?  It is a walnut-sized gland, which is part of the reproductive system in men. It lies below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds part of the urethra, which is the tube that transports urine from the bladder to exit the body. Its main function is…

Dec 1, 2016 Sandra

Within the healthcare environment there are so many technologies emerging, it is often hard to tell which options are safe or effective. At Mediclinic Durbanville, the da Vinci robotic surgery is proving its worth in terms of improved patient outcomes. When talking to Dr Gawie Bruwer, a urologist at Mediclinic Durbanville who has been using the da Vinci since 2014, we can easily detect the excitement with which he speaks about the results being achieved. From the quicker recovery after the less invasive procedure to the more accurate diagnosis of the cancer progression, the patients being treated with this robot…

Jul 1, 2016 Sandra

Treatment of prostate cancer continues to advance in leaps and bounds every year, however, according to Dr Anesh Naidoo, who practises at Netcare Blaauwberg Hospital in Cape Town, for those cases in which the cancer is still localised to the prostate itself, radical prostatectomy – in which the prostate is surgically removed – has the highest success rate of all the treatment options. “Studies have shown prostatectomy success rates of between 76% to 98% for low risk disease; 60% to 76% for moderate risk disease; and 30% to 76% for high risk disease,” Dr. Naidoo explains. There are various ways…

May 1, 2016 Sandra

How did it start? How did I discover it? The question which menask me most frequently is “How did you notice it?” I don’t quite remember how it began; did I first notice the lump at the back of the right testicle, or the twinge in the right groin? The twinge was such a light pain that I didn’t bother to take a painkiller. It felt like the usual after-effects of a very light blow on the testicles. Men and boys will know what I mean… The first time that I consciously noticed the lump on the right testicle was…

Mar 1, 2016 Sandra

Although campaigns against cancer are more visible for female cancers such as breast and cervical cancers, men are more commonly affected by cancer than women. This has been shown in almost all cancers except breast and female genital tract cancers. Prostate cancer and testicular cancer are usually the focus of cancer awareness campaigns in men. However, common cancers such as lung, colon, skin cancers (melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers), lymphoma, etc. affect all genders, and with male preponderance. Men also have a higher mortality rate from cancer than women. According to the SEER database, the lifetime risk of developing cancer (at any…

Mar 1, 2016 Sandra

Most people remember Shaun Harris (33) as one of South Africa’s swimming heroes, a member of the legendary South African relay team at the All Africa Games of 2007. However, few people know that he survived testicular cancer. Here is his story full of courage and perseverance. Shaun describes himself as a positive person who had a lot of success in life. Most South Africans know him as one of the heroes of the South African swimming team. However, he was the first one to admit that it’s probably a combination of a positive outlook, happiness, early detection and excellent doctors who…