The country’s senior citizens are being urged to adopt a healthy lifestyle to prevent colonic diseases, including cancer.
Urologist at the Portmore Health Complex in St. Catherine, Dr. Devon Osbourne, said diseases of the colon are very prevalent among Jamaicans over 50 years, and adopting a healthy diet, along with regular exercise, could go a long way towards preventing these conditions.
“I am urging you today to change your lifestyle, and start or continue eating healthy to live longer. Stick or conform to locally grown foods, which includes vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, and ground provisions, which fuel the body with primary nutrients that fight against colon cancer and other life-threatening diseases,” he stated.
Dr. Osbourne was addressing the 6th staging of Men’s Health Day organised by the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC), which was held on June 21 at the Girls’ Guide headquarters on Waterloo Road, St. Andrew.
He stressed the need for constant physical activity, which he recommended, should be carried out at least 30 minutes daily.
“Physical activity is essential to healthy living, especially for senior citizens, because it enables proper locomotion, a healthy heart, and helps to reduce fat,” he pointed out.
Dr. Osbourne said chronic abdominal pain, constipation, bloody stool, frequent diarrhea,irregular and painful bowel movement, can be associated with colon diseases, and these conditions should be dealt with immediately, once detected.
He noted that colon cancer, if detected early, can be successfully treated and recommended that persons over 40 years should take a colonoscopy every 10 years.
The day also featured presentations on diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and urinary tract infections (UTI). In addition, the seniors were given a complete nail and foot care treatment.
NCSC member, Horace Madden, told JIS News that the presentations widened his knowledge of the various illnesses that can affect seniors and how these could be prevented through a healthy lifestyle.
“I am more health conscious in terms of eating the right food. I also did not exercise much, but now I am encouraged to, so I can stay fit as I grow older each day,” said the 66-year old.
Participating organisations included the Ministries of Health (MOH), and Labour and Social Security (MLSS); Mona Ageing and Wellness Centre; Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute (CFNI); and the National Health Fund (NHF).
By Jeneva Gordon, JIS Reporter