June: Important Information on Prostate Cancer for Men's Health Month
PROSTRATE cancer, an inconspicuous yet formidable opponent, has silently emerged as one of the most prevalent tumors in men in the country, as stated by the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA).
CANSA highlights this important issue every November, which is designated as Men’s Health Month.
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"The issue with a sluggish-growing cancer like prostate cancer is that, when symptoms arise, the cancer may already be in an advanced stage. That's why it's crucial to undergo annual screenings for prostate cancer," explained Lorraine Govender, CANSA's National Manager of Health Promotion.
The prostate, a gland situated just below the bladder, serves the purpose of providing nourishment to sperm that form part of the semen.
Prostate cancer can be elusive, often manifesting without early discernible signs or symptoms. This subtlety, along with the fact that most prostate cancers grow slowly, underscores the significance of regular screenings. Fortunately, a more comfortable option is now available - a simple blood test.
The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test measures the levels of PSA, a substance generated by the prostate gland. Aside from detecting prostate cancer, elevated PSA values may indicate enlargement, inflammation, or infection of the prostate gland.
Appointments for PSA tests are offered at CANSA Care Centers nationwide at affordable prices, covering the cost of consumables required for the screening.
For patients with medical aid coverage, expenses can be claimed back from their medical aids after payment for the screening. Testing can also be carried out at local health clinics and healthcare practitioners in case of presenting symptoms.
"If you receive a prostate cancer diagnosis, reach out to the nearest CANSA Care Center. Our dedicated team is here not only to provide support to you but also to your loved ones, going the extra mile to ease your journey. CANSA is not just about physical locations and objects; we comprehend the workings of the public healthcare system and are prepared to be your guide. Because in the realm of prostate cancer, you are not alone, and CANSA is here to accompany you on this path," Govender stated.
Similar to many cancers, age constitutes a significant risk factor for prostate cancer.
Ethnicity also plays a pivotal role, with research demonstrating a greater vulnerability among men of diverse backgrounds.
A family history of the illness and genetic factors can heighten the risk.
Lifestyle choices, such as being overweight and leading a sedentary lifestyle, further contribute to the potential for developing prostate cancer.
– Regular passage of urine, particularly during the night
– Difficulty commencing or ceasing urination– Feeble or interrupted urinary flow
– Distressing or stinging sensation during urination or ejaculation– Presence of blood in urine or semen.
– Developed cancer can result in intense agony in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.
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