Men urged to speak up and test early for prostate cancer

PREVENTION BETTER THAN CURE … The global ‘Movember’ movement en- courages men to grow mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health, including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention. Photo: Cancer Association of Namibia

The head of the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN), Rolf Hansen, urges men to openly discuss prostate cancer and prioritise regular testing and consultation with healthcare professionals.

Hansen, speaking on Desert Radio yesterday, said men often hesitate to speak out and feel undergoing screening invades their privacy.

“I have found that in the last decade of leading this organisation’s communication and education programme on prostate cancer that men feel it is an infringement of their rights, and that their manhood is diminished and that people would laugh at them when they talk about prostate cancer,” he said.

He said early detection significantly enhances survival rates for prostate cancer, describing it as a serious condition.

“When diagnosed early, the treatment outcomes are 100%,” Hansen said.

He dispelled the misconception that only elderly white men are susceptible to this disease, emphasising that it affects men of all backgrounds.

Furthermore, Hansen commended The Namibian’s editor, Tangeni Amupadhi, for encouraging other men to undergo regular testing after he was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“I believe this will encourage other men to go for that very simple test and check up on their health to make sure everything is okay,” he said.

Amupadhi revealed that he is currently being treated for prostate cancer during a discussion on Desert Radio on Friday.

He said a year before his diagnosis, his general practitioner referred him for a prostate test, which he had done.

“I used to do regular medical check-ups almost every year … but it never really got into my head to ask my GP to look at my prostate. My GP insisted on it when I turned 50. He did it in my early 40s, but nothing was detected,” he said.

His illness was diagnosed at an early stage thanks to blood tests and a physical medical examination, urologist Dr Golda Stellmacher told Desert Radio.

Amupadhi is scheduled for a surgical procedure this week as part of his treatment.

Stellmacher said due to the early detection of the illness, Amupadhi has a favourable likelihood of recovery.

Medical practitioner and radio presenter Dr Kagiso Moloi also spoke up about his diagnosis five years ago.

“It was something that really shattered me. This is not something I was expecting to hear. I went into a bit of a depression at the time, but my family has always been by my side,” he said.

He said he is currently well and undergoes follow-up testing every six months.

Earlier this month Tareekuje Tjiriange from the Cancer Registrar reported that at least 356 men in Namibia are diagnosed with prostate cancer annually.

During November, the global ‘Movember’ movement encourages men to grow mustaches to raise awareness for men’s health, including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.

Throughout the month, CAN, in collaboration with Liberty Life Namibia, will be providing free health screening to 20 men per week.

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