Prostate tests vital
Cancer curable if detected early
MEN of all ages must make a habit of getting tested for prostate cancer to help detect whether they have the disease and get it treated early.
The head of urology at the University of Pretoria, Evelyn Moshokoa, said if caught early, prostate cancer is completely curable with a survival rate of over 90%.
There are no statistics indicating how many men live with the disease but it is estimated that one in six men in the country have prostate cancer, Moshokoa said.
“If a patient comes for screening at stage 1, we are able to cure the cancer but if they present at stage four, an advanced stage, we can offer palliation,” she said.
Palliation is when the cancer is managed and made weaker.
Moshokoa said because of an increase in awareness, more young black men were coming forward to be tested. However, men in lessprivileged circumstances with no access to doctors and specialists find it hard to go to their local clinics to get tested.
Moshokoa said prostate cancer can develop without any symptoms until late when a patient might notice a blockage in passing urine, wetting themselves or becoming paralysed.
“This is why we ask men not to wait for signs but to get tested early enough to get cured,” she said.
Moshokoa also urged men to live healthy lifestyles.
The prostate is a small gland, about the size of a walnut, located between the bladder and the penis.
Information from Here 4U, a Janssen Pharmaceutica information portal, indicates that the function of the prostate is to produce a fluid that nourishes and protects the sperm.
This fluid contains an enzyme, called prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which liquefies semen, allowing it to enter into the uterus with ease and swim freely.
Prostate cancer is the overgrowth of cells beyond the body’s ability to control. Prostate cancer usually starts on the interior and can block the passage of urine and sperm. If not treated, prostate cancer can spread to other organs in the body.