- The JCS is urging Jamaican men over 40 years, to get their prostate screening checks done
- September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month under the theme: ‘Don’t Procrastinate, Check Your Prostate’
- Jamaica has the highest mortality rate for prostate cancer in the world
With the increase in the number of men being diagnosed with prostate cancer locally, the Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS) is urging Jamaican men over 40 years, to get their prostate screening checks done annually, in order to facilitate early detection and treatment if diagnosed.
The appeal comes as the society marks September as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month under the theme: ‘Don’t Procrastinate, Check Your Prostate’.
Speaking at a JIS Think Tank on Wednesday, August 28, at the agency’s head office in Kingston, Executive Director of the JCS, Yulit Gordon, said “there is absolutely no denying that prostate cancer poses a public health risk to Jamaica and this is primarily so, because it continues to be the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among our Jamaican adult males.”
Ms. Gordon informed that the alarming fact remains that Jamaica has the highest mortality rate for prostate cancer in the world. This, she said, is of grave concern to the JCS, whose mission is to control and to prevent the various types of cancers.
Recent statistics from the Jamaica Cancer Registry at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) indicate that the incidence of prostate cancer in Kingston and St. Andrew alone, is 78.1 out of every 100,000 men. Only 688 screenings were done by the JCS in 2012.
Ms. Gordon said that it is imperative that Jamaican men conduct annual screenings so that early detection can be facilitated, and corrective measures employed.
JCS will effect a sustained focus on public education during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, in an effort to heighten awareness of prostate cancer, its symptoms and risk factors. Ms. Gordon said that the Society is hoping that with increased education, more males will be encouraged to get their screenings done annually.
“Once you are armed with the right information, you now have an opportunity to make wise decisions as it relates to safeguarding your health,” Ms. Gordon noted, pointing out that “early detection has been proven to save lives.”
In an effort to encourage men to get their prostate checked, the Executive Director informed that males, who visit the JCS for screenings in September will benefit from a five per cent discount. The cost for screenings is $2000, and all major health cards are accepted.
During the month, two symposiums will be held to provide timely and updated information about prostate cancer, to the public and the medical fraternity.
The first will be held on Sunday, September 8 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, commencing at 8:30 a.m., while the second will take place at the Wexford Hotel in Montego Bay on Sunday, September 29, starting at 9:00 a.m.
September 12 will be commemorated as Prostate Cancer Awareness Day, with a special function at the JCS’ headquarters at 16 Lady Musgrave Road.
For more information, persons can call the JCS at 927-4265.