Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Men respond to prostate cancer screening

Published:Thursday | September 29, 2016 | 9:00 AMCarl Gilchrist

OCHO RIOS, St Ann:

With the St Ann/St Mary branch of the Jamaica Cancer Society targeting to get 50 men over 40 years old to do prostate examinations during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, the response has been encouraging, says branch manager Marilyn Williams.

The branch dedicated a three-day period, September 26 to 28, to offer prostate cancer screening for a contribution of only $500 in an effort to reach the target.

"The response has not been too bad," Williams told Rural Xpress on Tuesday evening. "We have about 24 men who have turned up and have gotten their screening, and we're hoping to reach our target of 50 by the end of tomorrow (yesterday).

"Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, so we have been encouraging men over 40 years old to take advantage of this opportunity," she added.

Williams noted that the purpose of screening is to detect the disease at a very early stage, because if prostate cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, it can be cured.

Prostate cancer is a major burden in Jamaica and ranks as the commonest cancer in the island and is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths.

It is estimated that one in 10 Jamaican men will develop prostate cancer, hence the effort to get men to do the screening.

In Jamaica, it is estimated that the incidence of prostate cancer is higher than that of blacks and Caucasians in the United States, with figures of 304 out to every 100,000 compared to 249 and 182, respectively.

Meanwhile, the branch is still seeking funds to help maintain its annual service delivery in the two parishes, after falling short of its $5-million target at the August staging of Relay for Life at Turtle River Park in Ocho Rios.

Williams said the effort raised approximately $2.5 million, despite personal contributions from President and CEO of Jamaica Public Service (JPS) Kelly Tomblin and T'Shura Gibbs, JPS regional director, West.

She indicated that despite the setback, the branch would be going all out to do the best it can to continue offering the much-needed range of services they have been offering for the past 10 years.

rural@gleanerjm.com