For the boys

Solly Moeng: Back in the saddle

July 29, 2020 Word for Word Media 0Comment

Solly Moeng tells us how he juggled prostate cancer surgery and work, and how pleased he was when he could get back to his cycling.

Solly Moeng (53) lives in Wynberg, Cape Town. He has three children.

Work project delays check-up

Every year, in April, Solly has a routine medical check-up. During the 2017 exam, the GP casually indicated that Solly’s prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level seemed ‘a bit elevated’ and that he should get it checked. 

“There was no urgency in his voice and he mentioned it so nonchalantly that I didn’t ask him what it all meant or what the count was,” Solly explains.

Because of an important project Solly started and was preparing to launch in May 2018, the father of three didn’t have his annual medical tests in April 2018. 

“It was in September 2018 that the thought struck me that I hadn’t done my full medical check-up that year. After hesitating between waiting for next April (2019) or doing it right away, a ‘voice’ in me urged me to go right away. I’m happy I listened to that ‘voice’ because had I waited for April 2019, it would have been too late.”


The results showed an even higher PSA level (5,2) from the previous year (4,3); the accepted level is 4. Solly was referred to a urologist.

“Upon seeing him, first he did the finger test (digital rectal exam), then suggested a biopsy, which required a night in hospital. Sixteen samples from my prostate were removed. Ten of the 16 samples were positive, with the highest Gleason score (level of aggressiveness) at eight. 


Following blood tests, a bone scan and MRI scan, the urologist offered two available treatment options to Solly. Brachytherapy, which consists of the implantation of radioactive seeds into the prostate gland to attack and kill the cancer, or the Da Vinci X robotic surgery, also called robotic-assisted laparoscopic prostatectomy (RALP). “After comparing the merits and demerits of the two options, I opted for the latter,” explains Solly.

Recovery and work

Solly goes on to say, “I was lucky that my surgery took place at the beginning of December 2018, just ahead of the festive period. This meant that I could stay home to recover during the whole month of December into January 2019. With the end-of-year timing working in my favour, my work projects were not affected at all. When I returned to the office, towards mid-January 2019, I had made progress in the healing process.”

“In the early days, soon after the removal of the catheter and before I regained confidence and full control of my urinary function, I relied on special pads that I placed in my underwear to absorb possible leaks, but this lasted less than two weeks. I also felt pain when I tried to sit down.”

“The only lasting side effect is that I can no longer make babies naturally. Other than that, the bilateral nerve-saving prostatectomy, through RALP, ensured the return of full erectile function following surgery.


Being an avid cyclist, Solly was keen to get back on his bicycle. He does both mountain biking and road cycling. Three months after surgery, he was given the go-ahead though he experienced pain. 

“At first I couldn’t take the bumps on the road, it was just too painful and uncomfortable. I am happy to say things are fine now.”

Solly cycles regularly, often going on an all morning cycle around the Peninsula, and exercises three times a week.

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