Cancer drive to raise awareness

Moegamat Yunus Saffordeen, 64, from Eastridge, has a finger pricked as part of the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test to check protein levels. With him is nurse Dianah Stanley, from Lentegeur.

More Balls than Most (MBTM) hosted a drive to screen Mitchell’s Plain men for prostate and testicular cancer.

The non-profit organisation, the brother association to the PinkDrive, is dedicated to promoting awareness about the importance of early detection of cancer for men, with a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test.

The test involves a finger prick to take a drop of blood to screen the levels of a protein which is produced by the prostate.

High levels may indicate inflammation of the prostate, or even cancer.

The Simunye Clinic at Eastridge Medical Centre, at the corner of First and Fourth Avenues (at the Engen Garage) on Wednesday November 7 saw a variety of men come to check their health status.

Nurse Dianah Stanley, from Lentegeur, said testicular cancer is one of the most common cancers in men aged between 15 and 39.

A self examination after a warm bath or shower can be done, whereby men can check for swelling in front of the mirror, and roll the testicles between the thumb and fingers to feel for any lumps.

“It is normal to feel a soft cord-like structure on the top and back of each testicle. Lumps can be as small as a grain of rice and are usually quite firm like a hard rubber,” she said.

Her colleague Cornelia Martheze, also from Lentegeur, said men older than 40 are at risk of developing prostate cancer if they consume alcohol, lack exercise or have a family history.

Besides the PSA test, a rectal examination by a doctor to check for any abnormalities can be done.

Symptoms to look out for include any difficulty or pain when urinating; blood in the urine or semen; painful ejaculation; pain in the lower back or hips; unexpected weight loss, anaemia or fatigue.

Ms Martheze suggested men go for regular screenings, not smoke, not drink alcohol, avoid obesity, exercise for at least 30 minutes daily, eat fresh vegetables and fruit; and drink enough water.