Movember is in full swing, helping to save men’s lives one Mo at a time with Project Peacock, a ground-breaking initiative that offers Low Dose Rate brachytherapy to men diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Johannesburg, South Africa – This November Mo Bros and Mo Sistas will raise funds and awareness for often-stigmatised men’s health issues (prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention) through the Movember campaign, managed in South Africa by the Men’s Foundation under license from the Global Movember Foundation.
One of the beneficiaries of last year’s campaign is Project Peacock, a ground-breaking initiative that offers Low Dose Rate (LDR) brachytherapy to men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer; a procedure that uses minimally invasive technology that significantly reduces recovery time. It is the first of its kind in the public health sector and is only offered at Groote Schuur Hospital.
“Since inception in 2017 and Movember’s funding contribution, we have reduced our waiting list by one third, a key measure of success for the project,” says Dr Justin Howlett, a leading urologist at Groote Schuur Hospital and co-founder of Project Peacock.
“Furthermore, this year alone the funding that we have received from Movember has seen more men treated using this technology – all of whom who are in remission – and we are due to complete another three surgeries before the end of the year.”
Dr Howlett explains that the funding provided by Movember is used to pay medical personnel such as anaesthetists and nursing staff who help on the days of surgeries. It is also used to train registrars (future specialists) in urology and oncology in this procedure.
“This type of procedure would never have been made possible in South Africa without the support of Movember,” emphasises Dr Howlett.
Prostate cancer brachytherapy, which sees the insertion of Low Dose Rate seeds that slowly release radiation into the prostate, is beneficial to patients for several reasons: Not only does research show that there is far less damage from the radiation to the surrounding organs than other treatment options available, but patients are also discharged the following day, due to a significant reduction in recovery time.
Dr Howlett says that early detection of prostate cancer can make a huge difference to a man’s quality of life.
“Working in my chosen field I have seen first-hand how, when it comes to funding, men’s health issues are often neglected. Project Peacock, through funding made possible by the Movember campaign, is making a real difference to the lives of men,” says Dr Howlett.
Help Change the Face of Men’s Health and sign up as a Mo Bro or Mo Sista to raise funds and awareness for Movember. Grow a Mo, host and attend an event, or MOVE and you can be the difference in a man’s life. Walk, run, cycle, swim or row. A little or a lot. Solo or in a team. It’s not about being the fittest or going the furthest. It’s about havin’ fun, doin’ good, by raising funds along the way.