It is “Movember” and the Cancer Association of Namibia communicates on the most prevalent forms of cancer affecting Namibian men.
The “Movember Movement” is a men’s health initiative in support of the early detection of male forms of cancer, addressing more specifically prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
Originating in Australia, Namibia has been participating in the movement for the last decade already.
Early detection and endeavours to eliminate stigmas surrounding both types of cancer is done by encouraging men to grow a beard or moustache and challenge one another to have a medical check-up done. It further encourages men to share their health concerns with their peers.
Being the most common type of cancer among young men (15-37 years), most of men are completely unaware of testicular cancer. Worldwide, there are 48,500 new patients diagnosed with testicular cancer each year; 8,900 of these men will die.
As for prostate cancer, it mainly occurs in older men. About 6 cases in 10 are diagnosed in men aged 65 or older, and it is rare before age 40. The average age at the time of diagnosis is about 66. Both types of cancer are curable if detected at the early stages.
The 2017 “Grow a Mo – Save a Bro” campaign stresses the significance of self-examination in detecting testicular cancer. Similarly, DRE (Digital Rectal Examination) & PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) tests are two major exams for early detection of prostate cancer.
During the period 2010 – 2014, a total of 11 248 malignant neoplasms were recorded among the Namibian population during this five-year period, of which 5 125 were in males (45.6%) and 6 123 in females (54.4%). Prostate Cancer was the most diagnosed form of cancer accounting to 23,6% of cancers prevalent in Namibian men, closely followed by Kaposi Sarcoma at 18,4%
The current interim data with the Namibia National Cancer Registry shows that Skin cancer is the most occurring form of cancer amongst Namibian men. An average of 504 new cases per annum (incl. Basal Cell and Squamous Cell carcinomas) were recorded during the period 2014, 2015, 2016.
Prostate Cancer remains a concern at an average of 321 cases per annum over the 3-year period; and Kaposi Sarcoma averages 164 cases per annum over the 3-year period.
Men’s Health Clinics will be hosted by the Cancer Association of Namibia regularly on Tuesdays.
Bookings must be made in advance by telephone, and the cost is N$70 per Namibian male (please bring ID). The clinic includes and education session, family history and personal history consultation, PSA screening (only a prick of the finger and blood taken), as a first step in cancer screening.
The Cancer Association of Namibia can be contacted at 90 John Meinert Street in Windhoek West, 061 237 740 & 3C Ferdinand Stich Street in Swakopmund 064 4621 271.