Yo bro, check your prostate

Chad Anthony Williams, Rondebosch East

The month of November, or “Movember” as it is affectionately known across the world, is the month dedicated to raising awareness around men’s health issues such as prostate and testicular cancer, as well as mental health.

Men are encouraged “to grow a Mo and support a Bro” as of Movember 1 every year.

The Movember Foundation started in Australia in 2003, in the hopes that men would be more open to finding out what’s happening in their bodies, live longer and happier lives, but most importantly, break any sort of stigma associated with diseases that afflict men.

Did you know that prostate cancer is the most common male cancer affecting men in SA? According to the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), an estimated 1 in 19 men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime.

Now this is not meant to scare you guys, but my hope is that you start taking notice of red flags in your body, and be a pro-active man and get it checked.

It’s also very important to get it checked out if you have a family history of prostate cancer.

Early detection is key. Here are a few symptoms that could lead to early detection and save your life brother:

* Frequent urination, especially at night

* Straining to pass urine.

* Painful or burning sensation during uri-nation or ejaculation.

* Leaking urine.

* Bloody urine/semen

Now, I know what you guys are thinking, rest assured, times have changed, and so has technology. The doctor won’t be putting on a big glove and go poking in your butt with his finger. Prostate cancer screening is much simpler these days with a simple blood test.

Cansa encourages men from the age of 45 to chat to their doctor and do the screening.

Now testicular cancer on the other hand affects more younger men aged between 15 and 49 years old. Testicular cancer can be detected early if you notice a strange lump or swelling around your man area.

Self-examination is key here. After a shower or bath, feel for any abnormality or pea-sized lumps around your testicles. If you feel something, call a doctor and get it checked immediately.

So come on guys, share this with your bro’s around the braai, church or office. It could save a life.

* Source Cancer Association of SouthAfrica