Jul 2008

Advice: Prostate cancer - be aware, get tested

July is Men’s Health Month. It is aimed at educating and making men more aware of the health risks they face. Because cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, this month focuses on cancer that men get, like prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is one of the leading cancers in men worldwide.It is the number two cause of death from cancer in men in South Africa..
What is prostate cancer
Prostate cancer starts in the prostate gland. It is a small organ below the bladder which is found in men only. Once cancer has developed in the prostate, it can spread to other parts of the body. This is why it is very important to be aware of the signs and get tested as soon as possible.
What causes prostate cancer?
The cause of prostate cancer is not known, but certain things increase the risk. They include.
Age: Men over 50 years are at risk. More than 80 per cent of all prostate cancers are found in men over the age of 65.
Family history: If someone in the family, like a father or brother had prostate cancer, there is a bigger risk of getting the disease.
Unhealthy diet and lifestyle: There is a link between a diet high in animal fat and protein (especially red meat) and prostate cancer.
What are the signs of prostate cancer?
The signs include:
difficulty in urinating or controlling the flow of urine;
having to urinate often;
blood in the urine
pain or a burning feeling when urinating;
any of the above symptoms combined with pain in the lower back or pelvic area.
What are the tescticle cancer?
Testicle cancer is a rare kind of cancer in men that is formed in both or one of the testicles. It can start at any age, but is more common in men from about 20 to 40 years old.
How can I reduce the risks of getting cancer?
If you notice anything in your body that is unusual or abnormal, like lumps, fluid, or unexplained pain, go to your clinic or doctor for testing
as soon as possible.
Even if you don’t notice anything, you should get tested once a year. If there is a history of prostate cancer in the family, you should get tested from the age of 45.
Follow a healthy diet and lifestyle, and stop smoking.
Your responsibility
Remember, it is your responsibility to look after your health.
Get regular check-ups and if you have any concerns about your health, go to your nearest clinic or hospital.
- Louise van Niekerk
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