IT’S A GUY THING
September is Prostate Awareness Month–we report from the front line
One Kiwi man in eight will receive the sobering news that he has prostate cancer at some time in his life – so if that’s not you it’s likely to be your brother, father, son, grandfather or good mate. Early detection can significantly improve your chances of recovery, which is why the work of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand is so important in encouraging men to talk about their health issues and get a checkup if they’re worried, and why Confitex is supporting their Blue September awareness campaign.
So what is the prostate anyway?
The prostate is a gland the size of a walnut that lives just below a man’s bladder. Its job is to produce semen.
Am I at risk?
Prostate cancer is most often diagnosed in men who are aged over 65. It’s uncommon under the age of 50, but you are at higher risk if a close family member, such as your father or brother, has had prostate cancer.
Can I do anything to prevent it?
There’s no magic formula that guarantees you won’t get prostate cancer, but eating a healthy diet, keeping a healthy weight, limiting alcohol to no more than t wo drinks a day and regular exercise may help.
What symptoms should I look out for?
I f you experience a f requent urge to pee, need to get up often during the night, or have poor urine flow or trouble starting or stopping urination, it’s important to tell your doctor.
How is it diagnosed?
Start by having a chat with your doctor – you can take a support person if you like. Initial testing is likely to include a blood test and a digital rectal exam. I f there’s any abnormality i n either, you’ll be referred to a urologist for a biopsy, which is when a small sample of the prostate tissue is removed and examined in a lab.
How is it treated?
Not all prostate cancer needs to be treated. Some men can live with slowgrowing prostate cancer for many years, and choose not to undergo treatment. In other cases your doctor may recommend treatment, which could involve radiotherapy, hormone treatment, chemotherapy or surgery to remove the prostate gland.
What are the side effects of treatment, and how can they be managed?
Side effects will vary depending on the treatment but they often include urinary incontinence, which many men find distressing. After surgery you are likely to need a catheter for a week, then for the next t wo or three weeks you will probably need four or five pads a day to cope with heavy bladder leakage. Over time as leakage reduces and the bladder relearns control, many men find Confitex absorbent underwear gives them peace of mind for those intermittent, unexpected episodes. They’re designed to look, feel, wash and dry just like ordinary undies, but with leakproof fabric technology built into the pouch so no pads are needed.
How can I help?
Confitex supports Prostate Cancer Awareness, so for every pair of men’s blue leakproof underwear ordered from our online store during Sept - Nov 2018 we’re giving $5 to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of New Zealand. To stock up now while the giving’s good, visit confitex.co.nz and click the ‘Men’ tab. Conditions apply.