Dear Readers

The prevention and detection of reproductive-related cancer for men is often neglected by healthcare providers and men themselves. Recent evidence not only shows that men are less likely to lead healthy lifestyles but that they are also less likely to have a regular doctor (Lubega et al 2015). In addition, men tend not to use health services for routine check-ups, will often ignore symptoms and delay seeking help for their health (Lubega et al 2015Bowman 2010). Fortunately, with early detection, many of the health conditions and diseases that men face are preventable and treatable. In this issue we focus on three such cancers – penis, prostate and testicular cancers.

We share exciting news of a ‘milestone’ prostate cancer drug that targets exact genetic mutations in prostate cancer. The drug treats cancer by its mutated DNA rather than according to what part of the body it is in. We also feature the World Health Organization’s report which states that processed meats can increase the chances of developing certain cancers. The report shows an association mainly for colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancers, and has caused quite a stir in the media.  It raises questions such as whether or not people should stop eating processed meat altogether and, if not, then how much meat is it safe to consume? Lastly, what would the implications be for food security if people did stop eating meat? In response, WHO has issued a statement clarifying that the report “does not ask people to stop eating processed meats”; rather, it indicated “that reducing consumption of these products can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.”

We have compiled examples of fact sheets and several research articles including a review of the literature on the status of penile cancer sites in Rabat, Morocco. We highlight a study aimed at determining the relationship between male circumcision prevalence and prostate cancer mortality rates in 85 countries; and showcase a study to investigate the feasibility of carrying out epidemiological research to obtain preliminary data on risk factors of prostate cancer in Ibadan, Nigeria. Communication strategies to increase awareness around testicular cancer are important – an article on using the Standard Model of Health Communication to increase awareness of testicular cancer among men between the age of 15 and 39 is included in this issue. Also look out for a study on the management of undescended testes (Cryptorchidism) a condition which is a key risk factor for testicular cancer.

We hope you enjoy this issue!

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We welcome your contributions. Please submit newsworthy articles about your organisation’s current activities, research updates, skills building, training and events to nvundamina@wrhi.ac.za.

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SRHR News

'Milestone' prostate cancer drug

'Milestone' prostate cancer drug

The first drug that targets precise genetic mutations in prostate cancer has been shown to be effective in a "milestone" trial by UK scientists. The study, at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, took place on 49 men with untreatable cancer. The drug, olaparib, had low overall success, but slowed tumour growth … Read more.

WHO: Eating Processed Meats Increases Chances of Developing Certain Cancers

WHO: Eating Processed Meats Increases Chances of Developing Certain Cancers

After reviewing an assessment of the best available scientific evidence, the World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded that the consumption of processed meats can increase a person’s chances of developing certain cancers. … Read more.

Movember encourages men to shape their own experience

Movember encourages men to shape their own experience

The Movember Foundation is fighting for men to live happier, healthier and longer lives by shaping the landscape for male specific diseases through research and survivorship programmes. Each year in November, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on millions of men’s faces around the world … Read more.

'Men don't talk about testicular cancer' - survivor

'Men don't talk about testicular cancer' - survivor

Movember ambassador and SA swimmer Shaun Harris shares his personal account of contracting and subsequently beating testicular cancer. He also discusses the stigmas around prostate and testicular cancer and how important Movember is in creating awareness around these diseases. Watch.

Zimbabwe: Cancer Costs Torment Patients As Much As The Disease

Zimbabwe: Cancer Costs Torment Patients As Much As The Disease

Death is a hard reality, but living with cancer in Africa is a more painful reality. "Cancer is a death sentence," said one cancer patient waiting for his medication at Parirenyatwa Hospital. "It's just like someone pulled the rug from under your feet," … Read more.

Traditional Herbal Medicine and claims of Prostate cancer cure: Is there any Evidence?

Ghana: Is there any evidence suporting the use of traditional herbal medicine and claims of prostate cancer cure?

Dr. Nyarkotey Obu's blog talks about the lack of research evidence supporting the use of indigenous herbal medicines to cure prostate cancer. … Read more.

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Research Evidence

Male Reproductive Cancers Fact Sheet

Male Reproductive Cancers Fact Sheet

Cancer occurs when cells in the body grow out of control and they are named for the part of the body where they start. Reproductive cancers start in the organs related to reproduction (sex). These organs are located in the pelvis. The most common reproductive cancers in men are penile cancer, prostate cancer … Read more.

Penile Cancer: fact sheet

Penile Cancer: fact sheet

The penis is the male sex organ, reaching its full size during puberty. In addition to its sexual function, the penis acts as a conduit for urine to leave the body. The penis is made of several parts - covering the glans is the foreskin (prepuce). Penile cancer develops within the skin and/or soft tissues of the penis. If found … Read more.

Prostate cancer: fact sheet

Prostate cancer: fact sheet

The prostate is a round gland, about the size of a pea at birth and has the size and shape of a walnut in adult life. It lies in the pelvic cavity immediately in front of the rectum. Prostate cancer is a very slow developing disease most commonly found in men over 65 years old. It seems to run in some families. … Read more.

Testicular cancer: factsheet

Testicular cancer: factsheet

The testicles are two oval glands situated in the scrotum (sac) and are the male sexual organs that produce male sex hormones and sperm. The epididymis is a soft tubular structure behind each testicle which collects, stores and carries sperm. Testicular cancer may develop in one or both testicles. It is the most common male cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 39. … Read more.

Downstaging cancer in rural Africa

Downstaging cancer in rural Africa

Cancer is usually diagnosed late in rural Africa leading to incurability and abbreviated survival. Many curable cancers present on the body surface, often recognizable early by laymen as suspicious, justifying professional referral. Cancer diagnoses in two randomly chosen Tanzanian villages were compared after conventional … Read more.

Trends in cancer incidence in rural Eastern Cape Province; South Africa, 1998–2012

There are few cancer trend data reported in sub-Saharan Africa notably due to the scarcity of population-based cancer registries (PBCRs). The Eastern Cape Province PBCR is amongst the few registries in sub-Saharan Africa that reports … Read more.

Morocco: penile cancer at the University Hospital of Rabat, review of the literature

Morocco: penile cancer at the University Hospital of Rabat, review of the literature

The aim of our study was to report the status of penile cancer sites in the urology department at the University Hospital of Rabat and evaluate long-term results of surgical treatment of this cancer. Between 1989 and 2015, 10 patients … Read more.

Carcinoma of the Penis: Experience from the Lagos University Teaching Hospital Lagos, Nigeria

Carcinoma of the penis is rare in countries where neonatal male circumcision is the tradition and in Nigeria it is a common practice amongst almost all the tribes. This research documents the prevalence, age distribution, site and histologic … Read more.

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Countries with high circumcision prevalence have lower prostate cancer mortality

This study determined the relationship of male circumcision (MC) prevalence with prostatic carcinoma mortality rate in the 85 countries globally for which data on each were available. MC prevalence in different countries were obtained … Read more.

The feasibility of epidemiological research on prostate cancer in African men in Ibadan, Nigeria

Men of African descent have the highest incidence and mortality rates of prostate cancer (PrCa) worldwide. PrCa is increasing in Africa and the goal of this study was to determine the feasibility of conducting an epidemiological study … Read more.

Discovery of novel candidate urinary protein biomarkers for prostate cancer in a multiethnic cohort of South African patients via label-free mass spectrometry

Improvement in diagnostic accuracy of prostate cancer (PCa) progression using MS-based methods to analyze biomarkers in our African, Caucasian … Read more.

Educating Young Men About Testicular Cancer: Support for a Comprehensive Testicular Cancer Campaign

Despite the prevalence of testicular cancer among men 15–39 years of age, little has been done to increase awareness of this disease or educate males about its prevention. To fill this gap, the Standard Model of Health Communication … Read more.

Management of undescended testes: a comparative study in England and Africa

The aim of this study was to determine the timing of referrals and the outcome of undescended testes (UDT) over a 4-year period in a tertiary centre in England, and to compare this with a similar centre in Nigeria. … Read more.

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Courses and skills development and training

Improving the Health of Women, Children and Adolescents: From Evidence to Action (online)

Improving the Health of Women, Children and Adolescents: From Evidence to Action (online)

This free online course presents the latest data, priorities and debates about the health of adolescents, mothers, newborns and children in an accessible way. The course will explore the lifecycle from birth to adulthood, to look at adolescent … Read more.

How to Write and Publish a Study Protocol - Free online learning from BMJ

How to Write and Publish a Study Protocol - Free online learning from BMJ

The BMJ is keen to help early career academics develop their research skills and understand the academic publishing process. To that end it is seeking to create an online programme of self-study modules under the banner Research to … Read more.

Practice in Contraceptive and Reproductive Sexual Health

Practice in Contraceptive and Reproductive Sexual Health

Anglia Ruskin University Practice in Contraception and Sexual Reproductive healthcare is a CPD course offered by Anglia Ruskin University from its Essex and Cambridgeshire campuses. It addresses the training and educational needs of nurses who are seeking practical training in emergency … Read more.

Certificate Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights: Organising Effective Responses (SRHRresp)

Certificate Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights: Organising Effective Responses (SRHRresp)

Improving access to equitable and quality sexual and Reproductive Health, including HIV and AIDS related services is high on the global public health agenda. This module looks at ‘rights’ as being central and integral to any discussion … Read more.

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Upcoming events

10th Men’s Health World Congress 2016

10th Men’s Health World Congress 2016

The 10th Annual Congress on Men’s Health integrates all sub-specialties catering to Men’s Health under one roof, in the heart of India – New Delhi. The event will feature plenary sessions on Men’s Health along with multiple sub-specialty meets discussing preventive and curative aspects in diseases more common among … Read more.

Hollard DAREdevil Run

Hollard DAREdevil Run

A run with a difference that makes a difference. The Daredevil run has gone from one brave soul daring to jog through peak hour traffic in a Speedo, to a massive countrywide phenomenon with a noble cause. The Daredevil Run invites you to become a part of a national movement, joining batallions of brave men … Read more.

#Cancer Mtaani Campaign

#Cancer Mtaani Campaign

(Mtaani a swahili word meaning neighborhood) Young adults living in the slums and marginalized areas have limited or no access to life saving information in regards to cancer. #CancerMtaani intends to disseminate this vital information in a fun, friendly and interactive way through a ring traversing the various slums … Read more.

The CCA Crazy Hair & Beauty Show 2016

The CCA Crazy Hair & Beauty Show 2016

Displaying Hairstyling, Body Painting, Fashion and Makeup teams from across London, whilst raising much-needed funding and awareness for “Fighting Cancer in Africa”. This is so much more than an Charitable event, and so much more than a “Crazy” show. It is a ‘not to be missed event’ on every Stylist calendar. … Read more.

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Useful links

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We would love to hear from you!

Share your recent activites, research updates, upcoming events or any other SRHR announcements with us. 

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ReproNet-Africa is a network of sexual and reproductive health and rights institutions, organisations and programs in Africa. It is based at the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (Wits RHI) in Johannesburg, South Africa.