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Hi Everyone!

Well, October has flown by and November is upon us. My October was a blur of tile samples, sanitaryware options, kitchen cupboard designs and colours, sinks, hobs, taps, carpets...you guessed it, I'm renovating!! They say you only do it once...

I have found that it is possible to live without a shower, but impossible to live without a toilet, thus the commute from my parents in Westlake has been trying to say the least. But my troubles aside, October and November are women's and men's Cancer awareness months, hence the theme of the newsletter.

Read on to learn more about detecting women's and men's cancers early and what physiotherapy can do post operatively for breast cancer sufferers, as well as the low down on  Movember, the move to heighten awareness of men's cancer through the cultivation of the moustache!

Take care until next time.



PS As a born and bred Durbanite, I can't help myself...




The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) offers the following tips to all women on how to detect women’s cancers early:

Cervical cancer
Go for a Pap smear every two to three years once sexually active. The latest statistics indicate that 1 in 35 women are diagnosed in their lifetime.

Breast cancer
Do breast self examination (BSE) once a month during ovulation (every seven to ten days after your period) and on the same time each month. Have a mammogram at least every three years, after age 40. If undergoing any hormonal treatment, consult with your doctor as earlier screening is recommended. The latest statistics indicate that 1 in 29 women are diagnosed in their lifetime.

Ovarian cancer
Early symptoms are very non-specific but include pressure, pain or bloated abdomen, nausea, indigestion, constipation or diarrhoea or feeling tired all the time and sometimes heavy bleeding after menopause. Be aware of the risk factors – hormone replacement therapy after menopause, obesity and a strong family history of cancer. Have regular check ups. The lifetime risk for women in South Africa is 1 in 297.



A new University of Queensland study has confirmed the importance of physiotherapy for physical recovery after breast cancer surgery.

Dr Box's study evaluated a physiotherapy management care plan developed to optimise shoulder movement recovery and minimise the development of lymphoedema (a swelling of the arm after removal of the lymph glands) in women recovering from breast cancer surgery.

"We found that patients receiving physiotherapy had greater arm movement three months after breast cancer surgery and were back to their pre-operative status," Dr Robyn Box, an honorary research consultant in the University of Queensland’s Physiotherapy Department said. "This difference between the groups who did and did not receive physiotherapy after their surgery was maintained for two years after surgery."



Research has shown that a significant number of women experience physical side effects after breast cancer treatment. This may include:

  • decreased upper extremity range of motion and muscle strength

  • decreased cardiopulmonary function

  • soft tissue fibrosis

  • fatigue

  • sensory loss and pain


These possible side effects may be reduced with education and a customised, safe exercise programme designed by your physiotherapist, leading to:

  • improved upper extremity range of motion and strength

  • improved  cardiopulmonary function

  • decreased scar tissue and improved condition of soft tissue

  • improved venous and lymphatic flow

  • decreased fatigue

  • improved functional abilities and quality of life



Movember is the month long moustache growing charity event held each year to help raise funds and awareness for men’s health. Having started in Australia seven years ago, Movember has grown to be an international event, taking place in 6 countries. This global expansion looks set to continue with demand from Mo Bros and Sistas around the world wanting to grow moustaches and celebrate Movember in their own countries. As a direct result, 6 new countries have been added to this year’s campaign, of which South Africa is one!

Movember is about bringing back the moustache for a serious cause and sees Mo Bros, supported by the Mo Sistas in their life, register at http://www.movember.com and then start Movember 1st with a clean-shaven face.They have the remainder of the month to grow and groom their moustache, whilst raising funds and awareness. All funds raised go to CANSA’s Men’s Health Programs, which includes CANSA Interim homes (Hope Lodges) Awareness and Early Detection Programs.

So help fight cancer by supporting Movember and grow your Mo to spread the message to detect men’s cancers early!



All men should invest in their health by learning how to detect men’s cancers early. CANSA encourages men to be proactive by regular self-examination and having Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood tests.

Men from age 15 to 40 years of age need to examine their testicles each month, preferably after a bath or shower, to feel for any pea-sized lumps that could indicate testicular cancer.  Men over the age of 50 need to go for simple screening tests each year to check if they might have prostate cancer, which is the most common cancer among men in South Africa and globally.  The lifetime risk for men developing prostate cancer in South Africa is one in 23.


ANDREA POWERS PHYSIOTHERAPY http://www.powersphysio.co.za

With a holistic approach and more than ten years' experience, Andrea strives to identify the source of clients' symptoms and return them to full health and pain-free function, whether in everyday life or on a competitive sporting level. Offering thorough assessments and a hands-on approach, she treats all general physiotherapy conditions involving muscle, joint and neural problems, ranging from back and neck pain to post-operative orthopaedic conditions. Her special interest in sports injuries and rehabilitation is complemented by her certification as a pilates instructor.





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