Local charity Cancer Support Services (CSS) is reporting an increase in younger men being screened for prostate cancer. But local health officials remain concerned about the increasing number of deaths from the disease.
Barbados is said to have one of the highest rates of prostate cancer worldwide, and at its screening in January, CSS reported that 100 men died from the disease in 2016.
“I found in the last few months that the younger men are coming out. I don’t know [if it’s because] we started to advertise on Slam [101 FM], so we’re getting the younger generation from 35 and up, but before it was like 55 and over. So we’re very, very pleased that the young men [are] really taking heed of early detection,” Executive Director Jan Lynton told reporters.
Cancer Support Services held its third Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) screening for the year at its Belmont Road, St Michael location today, and Lynton said that by midday, 64 men had already been tested.
She cautioned that an elevated PSA did not necessarily mean that the individual has cancer.
“It’s just that it could be an infection, it could be so many things leading up to early detection, so therefore we would ask persons who have the test done to see a physician, or we have a team on board where we have a counsellor, we have a physician, so that if they don’t have their own physician they can go to our physician,” Lynton said, adding that early detection was important.
“Because if you have your PSA done, you have your digital exam, and the physician thinks there is a concern then they will do further investigation,” Lynton said.
In January 81 men turned out, while the figure for March stood at 85.
Lynton appealed to the private sector to support the next PSA screening, which is scheduled for July.
“We’re urging corporate Barbados to come on board and help us to get the message out there. If one company can sponsor four ads, at least it can reach 1,000 persons. So we need help; Government cannot do everything,” Lynton said.