Jamaica Cancer Society offering cross country prostate screening, education programme

Men
, 40 years and older, are being encouraged to get tested for prostate cancer, the deadliest cancer in Jamaica.

Males in this cohort will benefit from free screenings and health talks courtesy of the Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS) throughout September which is being observed as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Activities, which are focused on screening, are being held under the theme: ‘Men 40 years and older don’t hesitate get your health in check — Do your prostate tests!’

Fund-raising and public relations officer at the JCS Shullian Brown told reporters and editors at the Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange that through the planned activities for the month, the organisation is continuing its programme of screening, education and raising awareness about prostate cancer.

“For our [JCS] branch in St Ann — this and every Monday for the month of September, we’ll be screening between the hours of 2:00 pm and 5:00 pm, 100 men free of charge, compliments of Guardian Life,” she said. This activity began on September 5.

Activities continue at the JCS headquarters in Kingston on Friday, September 9, which will be observed as Prostate Cancer Awareness Day.

“We will be doing screening this Friday at the Cancer Society free of cost, compliments of Guardian Life and the National Health Fund (NHF) and partners the Jamaica Urological Society,” she said. This will be staged from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.

The following week, on September 16, free prostate cancer screening will also be offered at the Villa Medical Centre in Mandeville; and on the 30th, screening will be done in partnership with the Cornwall Regional Hospital and the Montego Bay Cancer Support Group at the James Anglican Church in Montego Bay from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm.

On Sunday, September 11, the JCS will also host a prostate cancer medical symposium via the Zoom video-conferencing online platform. Persons can register to attend via the JCS’ website.

Brown said the focus for the month is to engage men and get them to understand the importance of screening and early detection in the fight against prostate cancer.

She also called on women to encourage the men in their lives to get screened for the deadly disease.

“[We need] our women [to] send the word out to the men — [to say] come now, no joke thing! This is serious business; let’s get you screened,” she said.

According to the JCS, prostate cancer is the number one cancer in Jamaica, which, if diagnosed in its early stage, can be effectively treated.

The JCS also noted that if diagnosis takes place at a late stage of the disease, it will cost millions of dollars to treat and could possibly result in death.

Further, the JSC is imploring men to know their status by getting a prostate specific antigen (PSA) test and a digital rectal examination (DRE) done by a urologist, family doctor or at Ministry of Health and Wellness health centres

Men are also being encouraged to make healthy lifestyle choices by consuming a diet low in fat; increase their intake of fruits and vegetables; eat more fish that is rich in omega-3; and exercise at least 30 minutes daily.

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