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Self-examine for testicular cancer, early detection is key

Testicular cancer affects mostly younger men, can often be effectively treated and may be detected early if men self-examine carefully, according to a urologist.

Dr Johan Mouton from The Urology Hospital Pretoria says the treatment of testicular cancer is one of the “big success stories in modern medicine”.

“Previously, if you were diagnosed with testicular cancer there was a good chance you would not survive. Now, it can often be successfully treated through chemotherapy and surgery. It has a high probability of being cured if diagnosed early, as noted by the American Cancer Society,” he said.

He added that the National Cancer Institute in the US says 95 percent of patients record a five year’s disease-free survival rate while the Cancer Association of SA notes: “If testicular cancer is detected early, life returns to normal.”

Testicular cancer is an abnormal growth or tumour in one or both testes and symptoms include a lump, testicular pain and or discomfort in the groin or scrotum. Mouton suggests that men follow the steps set out by the Cancer Association of SA for self-examination which should be done at least once a month after a bath or shower.

Meanwhile, a recent a study suggests smoking cigarettes and marijuana in particular increases the risk of contracting testicular cancer, while other risk factors include a family or personal history of the condition, men who’ve had undescended testis at birth, infertility, obesity, and an unhealthy lifestyle.

Dr Mouton says younger men are more susceptible largely due to genetics and because cancer cells become active in the testicles after puberty. He says some men feel embarrassed to discuss the condition which could be detrimental to their health.

“If you’re concerned about the condition, make an appointment with a urologist at the Urology Hospital. We’ll conduct an examination and we’ll identify the best course of action,” said Dr Mouton.

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Urologists are highly trained specialist surgeons who use both medication and surgery as part of a comprehensive approach to care for men and women and children with urological problems. 

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How We Are Doing Our Part In The Fight Against COVID-19

The Urology Hospital is a surgical hospital specializing in the treatment of urological and related conditions. As we are not a respiratory related facility, we will not be actively treating COVID-19 patients. This allows us to continue providing surgical treatment to all our urology related patients and we will gladly accommodate you in this regard.

The safety of our patients and colleagues is our number one priority. Your healthcare is important to us and we are actively working with and following guidance from the National Department of Health and the NICD (National Institute for Communicable Diseases).

Kindly note the hospital has set up a Covid-19 task team and contingency plan and we are preparing for all eventualities.

Please confirm with your Doctor if you are still able to come for your consultation. However, if you have any of the following signs and symptoms then please cancel your appointment, self-isolate and contact the centralised helpline on 0800 029 999:
• Fever
• Cough
• Sore Throat
• Shortness of Breath
• Headache
• Fatigue/Malaise
• Diarrhoea
• Loss of smell and taste

To support screening for COVID-19, before entering the hospital, all prospective patients will adhere to the following:
• Complete a Travel History form
• Undergo temperature screening

Should any of the following signs or symptoms be found, you will be requested to go home, self-isolate and contact the centralised helpline on 0800 029 999:
• Flu-like symptoms (sore throat, cough or chills)
• Fever of 37.7 or above

NB: Please notify the person doing your Travel History if you’re:
• Over 70
• Have any underlying health conditions
• Are pregnant

To protect our patients and staff from the potential risk of COVID-19, we are currently restricting visiting of patients to exceptional circumstances only.

In an effort to limit the number of patients visiting The Urology Hospital Pharmacy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will only assist our regular retail patients.  If you have a valid repeat script at The Urology Hospital Pharmacy, please call us in advance on 012 423 4036 to make arrangements to obtain your repeat prescription. We will then prepare it for you in advance. When collecting your script bring your purple script copy or previous medicine containers with you to gain access to the hospital.

Should you need to re-arrange an appointment at the Urology Hospital please call: 012 423 4000 or your Doctor’s rooms.

We appreciate your understanding and co-operation.

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