Prostate tests vi­tal

Can­cer cur­able if de­tected early

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - METRO - NOLOY­ISO MTEMBU noloy­iso.mtembu@inl.co.za

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.

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