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MenÔÇÖs worst fear

by Debisa Cooper


Inocentheo Cunha (59) survived prostate cancer two years ago.
Today he remembers how it was like and how he felt when the news of his illness was broken to him.
“I had a horrible lower back-pain on my right and went to the doctor. The doctor then did some blood test and sent the samples to South Africa. After two weeks, the results came back positive,” he narrates.
Cunha says the news scared him and was life-changing
“I felt bad when I heard the news. Having cancer was a big problem and something life changing for me and my family.
“The doctor then consoled me saying that there is no cure for it and the best way to treat it was by surgery. I was then admitted at the Roman Catholic Hospital in Windhoek for a week to undergo an operation to remove the prostate,” Cunha says.  
Prostate cancer is on the rise in Namibia where, according to the Cancer Association of Namibia’s executive assistant director, Magda Scluechter one in every eight men is likely to get the disease.
“Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Namibia after skin cancer. One in eight men develops this cancer during their lifetime,” she explains.
Over the past six years prostate cancer has increased drastically in Namibia from 154 in 2005 to 300 in 2011.
Prostate is a part of a male’s reproductive system located in front of the rectum and under the bladder.
It surrounds the urethra (the tube through which urine flows). The prostate makes part of the seminal fluid. During ejaculation, seminal fluid helps carry sperm out of the man’s body as part of semen.
Cancer is caused by eating fatty and smoked foods with men above 40 at risk. It can also be hereditary.
“My family’s medical history showed that my grandfather and father were also diagnosed with prostate cancer back then. I must have inherited it from them,” adds Cunha.
 Scluechter further says smoking also can cause prostate cancer, “Even though some people might not admit it but prostate cancer is also caused by smoking.”