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Team blue tackles epic ride for men’s cancer awareness

Sandoz lends helping hand to fight against Prostate and Testicular Cancer in South Africa.

  • Testicular cancer accounts for approximately 1 percent of all cancers in men. It is the most common male cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 39.1
  • If men in your family have had prostate cancer, your risk may be increased.  Also, if you have a family history of women with breast cancer, your risk for prostate cancer may be higher.2

Johannesburg – Preparing to tackle one of South Africa’s (SA) most challenging cycling tours to raise funds for men’s cancer awareness is about much more than the ride, says Carnie van der Linde, Country Head of generic pharmaceutical company Sandoz.

“Our initiative is about saving husbands, sons and fathers, who might otherwise be diagnosed too late with prostate or testicular cancer,” he says.  Van der Linde is one half of TeamBlue, riding the Cape Epic from the 15th to 22nd March 2015 with training partner Wayne McDuling, also of Sandoz.  The two are raising funds for More Balls Than Most, the charity that promotes awareness of prostate and testicular cancer by taking its message to men, whether at their place of work or where they are watching sport.

The More Balls Than Most’ tagline always raises a smile.  Testicular cancer is one of the most frequent cancers in young men aged between 15 and 35.  “Most guys just aren’t comfortable self-examining for testicular cancer.  But owning up in a more macho setting works wonders, especially now that high-profile sportsmen have opened their hearts about their own experiences.”

Combating cancer is a cause that’s particularly captured McDuling’s heart – he lost both his mother and father in-law to breast cancer and prostate cancer respectively.  Through More Balls Than Most, brother charity to the breast cancer Pink Drive campaign, McDuling was prompted to urge van der Linde to form TeamBlue.  As Country Head of Sandoz, a leading producer of generic oncology injectables, van der Linde is only too aware of the human factor behind the statistics.

“According to the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) prostate cancer is right at the top of the list of Top 10 cancers for men in this country3,” says van der Linde.  “It is estimated that 4 000 men are diagnosed every year with this disease4.”

A South African man has a one in twenty six risk of developing this cancer during his lifetime3. That’s about four or five times higher than cancers that we talk about more, such as lung cancer and colorectal cancer.  Though under-45s are occasionally diagnosed with prostate cancer1, the disease usually occurs in men over the age of 652.  Prostate cancer may not cause signs or symptoms in its early stages. However once it has spread to other areas of the body, it may still respond to treatment and may be controlled but it can no longer be cured2.

“Checking that everything is in working order is so much easier these days,” says van der Linde.  “A finger pinprick for a blood test to measure your levels of PSA, the Prostate Specific Antigen, can save your life – early detection is the key here.”  The Cape Epic is a pretty gruelling challenge for van der Linde and McDuling to take on in the name of their favoured charity – nearly 800km of riding, with almost 16 000 metres of climbing to contend with.  But they’re determined their ride will prove they embody the image of charity partners More Balls Than Most.

Support More Balls Than Most by SMSing TEAMBLUE to 40158 to donate R20.


  1. Testicular cancer. CANSA.    (Accessed 12 February 2015)
  2. Prostate cancer. Mayo Clinic. 12 February 2015)
  3. South African Cancer Statistics. (Accessed 12 February 2015)
  4. Prostate cancer. (Accessed 12 February 2015)

About Sandoz

Sandoz, the generic pharmaceuticals division of Novartis, is a global leader in the generic pharmaceutical sector.  Sandoz employs over 26,500 employees across more than 160 countries, offering a broad range of high-quality, affordable products that are no longer protected by patents.  With USD 9.2 billion in sales in 2013, Sandoz has a portfolio of approximately 1,100 molecules, and holds the #1 position globally in biosimilars as well as in generic injectables, ophthalmics, dermatology and antibiotics, complemented by leading positions in the cardiovascular, metabolism, central nervous system, pain, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and hormonal therapeutic areas.  Sandoz develops, produces, and markets these medicines, as well as active pharmaceutical and biotechnological substances.  Nearly half of Sandoz’s portfolio is in differentiated products, which are defined as products that are more difficult to scientifically develop and manufacture than standard generics.

In addition to strong organic growth since consolidating its generics businesses under the Sandoz brand name in 2003, Sandoz has benefitted from strong growth of its acquisitions, which include Lek (Slovenia), Sabex (Canada), Hexal (Germany), Eon Labs (US), EBEWE Pharma (Austria), Oriel Therapeutics (US), and Fougera Pharmaceuticals (US).

Sandoz is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @Sandoz_global at

Issued by:
Vuma Reputation Management
Thando Ntsinde