Get tested for testicular cancer this month

2018-11-27 06:00
Testicular cancer can start as a small tumour in either one of the men’s organs of the reproductive system. PHOTO: sourced

Testicular cancer can start as a small tumour in either one of the men’s organs of the reproductive system. PHOTO: sourced

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THE month of November is dedicated to raising funds and awareness of men’s health issues such as testicular cancer, mental health, prostate cancer, and suicide prevention.

The latest studies conducted by the Movember Foundation revealed that testicular cancer is the most common cancer among young men aged 15 to 39.

Testicular cancer is an abnormal growth or tumour that develops in one or both oval organs in a man’s reproductive system. Studies show that testicular cancer can be cured with treatment, including the removal of the affected part in the testis.

Men are encouraged to consult a doctor should they notice a change in size or a lump that is painful in the testis.

During this month, which was formerly known as November and now called Movember, residents and some community organisations will embark on numerous campaigns to raise awareness on men’s health issues.

Chief executive and founder of the Men’s Foundation Garron Gsell said: “We have to take a stand to stop men dying too young.

“Men die an average six years earlier than women and for reasons that are largely preventable.

“When it comes to their health, too many men don’t talk. Men need to have open conversations about their health and take action. If something doesn’t feel right, go to the doctor and get tested,” Gsell said.

The Men’s Foundation grows and grooms the Movember campaign in South Africa.The foundation said it aims to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25% by 2030.

Gsell believes that there is a long way to go before men are fully engaged with key issues relating to their health. This means funding research into prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.

It also means equipping men with facts and information so that they can take action with regard to their health.

“Gender is one of the strongest and most consistent predictors of health. For men, this is not good news.

“This has received little national, regional or global acknowledgement or attention from health policy-makers or health-care providers,”Gsell said.

He said that funding for men’s health in South Africa requires continued destigmatisation through media and the public at large, as well as prioritisation. However, Gsell said government funding primary focuses on women, children, and the elderly.

“We are left to rely on the private and corporate sector for help in funding our programmes,” Gsel added.

According to the foundation, men with undescended testes at birth, or who have a family history like a father or brother who had testicular cancer, are at higher risk.

HOW TO GET INVOLVED?

• Start clean-shaven on Movember 1.

• No beards or goatees.

• Commit to walking 60 kilometres over the month for the 60 men who commit suicide each hour globally.

For fundraising ideas visit www.movember.com

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