With over 4,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer annually in South Africa, the Movember Foundation, best known for its hairy efforts to raise awareness and funds for often ignored men's health issues, will extend Ironman, its global prostate cancer registry, to South Africa.
New treatments and therapies are on the rise, but there is a lack of understanding which treatment and care practices deliver the best outcomes for men with advanced prostate cancer.
“The Ironman registry collects information about a man's type of prostate cancer, their treatment and what side effects they may be experiencing,” says Garron Gsell, founder and CEO of the Men’s Foundation of South Africa, which manages the Movember campaign in South Africa under license from the Movember Foundation. “Collecting and researching this information will enable us to better understand what causes prostate cancer, how to stop or slow its progression, and how to provide the best possible care to enable men to live the best quality life possible.”
The strength of Ironman
The strength of Ironman lies in its strong global partnership with patients, their families, doctors and researchers to fight advanced prostate cancer, he says.
In South Africa, the R6m multi-national local registry will be coordinated by the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA). It is the Movember Foundation’s biggest single investment into one project since the global men’s health movement officially launched in South Africa in 2010.
Ironman aims to sign-up at least 5,000 men with advanced prostate cancer globally to join the registry from 2017-2022. They’ll work with doctors and researchers to understand more about prostate cancer treatment, side effects, and the care they provide to patients.
“By taking a patient’s medical history, treatment information and blood samples, we will investigate which treatment and care practices deliver the best outcomes for men with advanced prostate cancer. We will share this knowledge across the globe to see if our treatment outcomes are different from that of the rest of the world,” says Tygerberg Hospital urologist Dr Hilgard Ackermann, who will be the lead investigator for the South African collaboration.
They will also send health surveys to men, so they can measure their quality of life over time.
Helping with a high burden
“South Africa has a high burden of advanced prostate cancer as our patients often present late and have more aggressive disease. This type of research is long overdue and will go a long way in reducing the burden,” says Dr Kalli Spencer, local urologist affiliated with Movember.
The Movember Foundation is ranked 49th out of the top 500 NGOs (non-governmental organisations) around the world and is the largest non-governmental funder of men’s health programmes globally, delivering innovative, breakthrough research and support programmes that enable men to live happier, healthier and longer lives.Men’s health in South Africa is purely dependent on private and corporate funding. Help spread awareness and raise funds for men’s health. Visit Movember South Africa and be the difference in a man’s life.