A Call to Arms against the Top 5 Cancers Affecting SA Men
Gents, although you may think you may never be drafted into the battle against cancer, you are possibly at risk. By being pro-active, stepping up and taking responsibility for your health, you can actively reduce your cancer risk. We’ve identified the top 5 cancers affecting SA men to increase your awareness and help you on your way to a balanced lifestyle. Read media release: English | Afrikaans
Know the Enemy
It’s a battle to stay healthy in an age that promotes self-indulgence, instant gratification, fast foods and inactive leisure time. Even work is no longer as physically demanding as it used to be for most men, many men driving or being office-bound. Climbing the stairs is mostly a choice – in fact your entire work and social communication can be managed from your mobile device, moving little more than your fingers!
Men who do more physical work outside, are exposed to the harsh African sun over a prolonged period and other men may work in industries which produce carcinogens.
Research has shown that inactivity, unhealthy diet or weight, high risk social pursuits such as drinking, smoking and risky sexual behaviour, as well as exposure to environmental carcinogens can increase one’s cancer risk.
Perhaps it’s time for a change in tactics gentlemen – forewarned is indeed forearmed – if you know what increases your cancer risk, and the warning signs of cancer, you are more likely to triumph over the enemy.
The ‘Big 5’ cancers affecting SA men are prostate cancer (lifetime risk 1 in 18 men); colorectal cancer – cancer of the colon or rectum (lifetime risk 1 in 75 men); lung cancer (lifetime risk 1 in 76 men); Kaposi Sarcoma (lifetime risk 1 in 315 men); and bladder cancer (lifetime risk 1 in 148 men).
Gaining Tactical Advantage
Read more about the top 5 cancers and other cancers affecting men, including testicular cancer, breast cancer, anal and penile cancer.
2. Listen to the Chaps
Sybrandt Fouché was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2016. “My wife felt that it’s just as important for men to go for check-ups, as a woman, and following a random visit to the urologist, the cancer was detected. Three months later, and it might have been too late. Men generally do not like talking about cancer, let alone testicular cancer – until it knocks on your own door!” Read more
Henk Ferreira was 45 years old when he was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Henk warns, “It’s a myth that only older people get diagnosed with colorectal cancer.” Henk’s message to all is that cancer can be beaten. “If you detect cancer early enough, it doesn’t have to become a big issue – awareness and early detection is key.” Read more…
3. Check Your Gear
Put a reminder on your favourite mobile device, your dashboard, medicine cabinet or locker and go for regular health checks and cancer screening, annually. Early detection gives you an edge on the enemy and your best fighting chance.
CANSA’s Care Centres provide PSA screening to detect signs of prostate cancer and certain CANSA Care Centres offer faecal occult blood tests that identify microscopic blood in the faeces, which may be a sign of a growth, inflammation or bleeding in the digestive system. Our FotoFinder machines can detect abnormal moles. Health professionals will refer you for screening regarding bladder or lung complaints.
Find out when our Hollard MaNVan will be in your area, by contacting your local CANSA Care Centre. In 2016 / 7 a total of 7 924 men underwent Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) screening – which helps detect prostate cancer – in our ManVan. Read more…
Knowing what’s normal for your body is also important, and monthly testicular self-examination is recommended.
4. Steer Clear
Smoking and the use of tobacco productsaccounts for the majority of lung cancer diagnoses, and you double your chances for bladder cancer by smoking, so it makes sense to quit as soon as possible.
A recent study (by the World Cancer Research Fund International) has confirmed the link between obesity and 11 cancers. Diet and leading an active, balanced lifestyle can play a significant role in reducing your cancer risk.
What you drink also affects your health. Alcohol increases your cancer risk.
More than 30 to 40 types of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) are typically transmitted through sexual contact and infect the anogenital area, which in some cases, can result in cancer. Avoid unsafe sex.
Be aware of possible carcinogens in the environment and avoid them or take the necessary measures to protect yourself.
5. Win through Discipline
#PracticeMakesPerfect – practice and repeat:
Take up your Battle Cry
Don’t keep what you have learnt to yourself – tell your friends and raise awareness of cancer where you work, play and live.