Early detection could turn out to be a lifesaver

Darren Robertson with his wife, Loren and his baby daughter, Rebecca.

Being diagnosed with prostate cancer just this month has led a 41-year-old Harfield Village resident to strongly campaign for men to take their health seriously.

Darren Robertson received the diagnoses of Stage 1 prostate cancer on November 2 after going to his family doctor for his annual health check-up.

He was referred to a urologist who conducted a series of tests.

“I never dreamed that I would be diagnosed with prostate cancer at the young age of 41, and I never expected it to have been such a positive experience,” said Mr Robertson, who joined the fight to become a Mo Bro during the month of Movember in November when awareness is raised about men’s health issues.

In his work as a financial planner, Mr Robertson advises clients on issues such as disability and life cover and having a will in place but since his diagnoses he is also urging them all to take note of their health.

“Check for lumps, check for bumps, if you don’t feel right, go to the doctor, do not go to the pharmacy, and this is something that is driving me hard to get it out there to inform people,” said Mr Robertson, who is now preparing for his own treatment.

He will have his prostate removed in January to prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of his body.

Mr Robertson, who has an 8-month-old daughter, Rebecca, with wife Loren, will not be able to have more children after the operation but they have discussed the possibility of using a sperm bank in case they want to grow their family in the future.

Mr Robertson, who does not smoke or drink alcohol, says he has lived a healthy lifestyle, playing sports such as cricket, rugby and golf and taking part in triathlons.

He will need four weeks of recovery after the operation and hopes to continue enjoying the things he loves.

Garron Gsell, founder of the Men’s Foundation, said there is a lack of awareness and general knowledge about prostate cancer. “Know the facts and take action early,” he said. According to the Movember Foundation, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in South African men, with more than 4 000 men diagnosed annually. When detected early, prostate cancer survival rates are better than 98%. Find it late, and those survival rates drop below 26%.

Mr Robertson is motivated to raise funds to raise awareness for Movember and if any members of the public would like to support his cause they can visit his Movember url at https://za.movember.com/mospace/13905759 .