Movember: Raising awareness around men’s health and prostate cancer

Posted on November 01, 2020

Movember is an annual campaign in which men are called upon to grow moustaches during November to raise awareness of men’s health issues – including that of prostate cancer.

A 2018 study by University of Pretoria researchers Professor Riana Bornman and Professor Vanessa Hayes revealed that black men had a higher risk of prostate cancer because of elevated levels of a prostate-specific antigen in their blood. “Men must take their risk seriously and act accordingly, so that prostate cancer can be diagnosed at an earlier stage when curative treatment might still be more likely,” advises Prof Bornman.

According to a Globocan report, the rates of prostate cancer are the highest in Australia and New Zealand (with an age-standardised rate per 100,000 of 86.4), followed by Northern Europe, Western Europe and North America.

In contrast, Africa – specifically Southern Africa – has the highest mortality rate, at 3.5 times the world estimate and 2.6 times greater than the mortality rates of Australia and New Zealand. 

This disparity is further alarming when one considers the 20 year difference in average life expectancy between a South African man (61.46) and Australian man (82.08).

To mitigate the risk and to allow for early detection and intervention, screening is crucial. This involves a focused urological history and clinical examination, a digital rectal examination, and a blood sample for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing.

To help raise awareness on some risk factors for prostate cancer, Prof Bornman shares some key facts based on her research findings.


- Author Prof Riana Bornman

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