JIS News

MANDEVILLE – Administrative Director of the Jamaica Cancer Society, Carol Blair, is appealing to Jamaicans 50 years and over, to get screened for colon cancer.

She said that advances in technology allows for early detection, which could save lives.

“We encourage that you go to your doctor or go to the clinic and you ask questions. The most important thing (is) for people to get tested annually. Once you are 50, both men and women, you need to start getting screened for colon cancer,” she stated.

Mrs. Blair was addressing a colon cancer medical symposium held recently at the Golf View Hotel in Mandeville in observance of Colon Cancer Awareness Month in March.

Chief Medical Officer at the Mandeville Regional Hospital, Dr. Hopeton Falconer, also stressed the importance of screening for early detection of the disease.

He said that if pre-cancerous tumors are caught, they can be successfully removed and prevent the high financial and emotional costs associated with cancer surgery or chemotherapy.

He said that in addition to having regular checks, persons should adopt healthy lifestyle habits, including healthy diet and regular exercise.

Cancer of the colon is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Jamaica. The Jamaica Cancer Registry reported an incidence of 13 per 100,000 cases locally. Like cervical cancer however, colon cancer can be prevented with screening to detect the pre-cancerous stage in the form of colon polyps. These can then be removed from the colon before cancer forms.