The Barbados Cancer Support Services (CSS) is reporting an increase in younger men opting to be screened for prostate cancer.
Executive Director of the CSS Jan Lynton told Barbados TODAY that though she is not able to give figures, she has noticed that during the last Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) screening almost two months ago, and today’s screening, there has been an increase in men as young as 35 years old coming to have the test done.
Speaking during today’s screening at the charity’s secretariat, Dayrells Road, Christ Church, Lynton said the development should be seen as a plus considering that for many years CSS has been encouraging men to come forward to be screened from an early age.
“And we are seeing new people coming. We found that maybe a friend would send it by Whatsapp to encourage another friend and that is how we are seeing more men coming in groups. So in all we are thankful that in the midst of all that has been happening, men could still be proactive in looking after their health.
“We just would love corporate Barbados to step up with their male staff and see what they can do, if they can do it for them as a special or if they can give back to the staff and let the men come and have the screening done,” she said.
To coincide with CSS’ 25th anniversary, the charity gave five men free screening today. The screening started at 10 a.m. and in less than an hour, 80 plus people were already registered.
“We want to thank all the media who have helped us to get this message out. And all the men that have come out so far, we want to thank them,” Lynton said.
The Executive Director also indicated that the results from the last testing conducted seven weeks ago showed that out of the 170 men screened, about 15 came back elevated, which Lynton stressed is not an immediate indication that these persons have prostate cancer.
“Because it says elevated does not mean cancer. It might be an infection; it might be so many different things. So elevation means that they can go to their physician and seek further investigation,” Lynton said.
Lynton thanked Ensure, Bajan Pure, McBride and Armstrong Agency for donating items for the goody bags given to those who got screened today. She also thanked Massy Stores and Ensure for providing tents for them men to sit under while social distancing on the outside, before making their way inside to be screened.
She said: “The next PSA will be in six weeks. We are celebrating 25 years and I may say that if corporate Barbados could at least give $20 it would go a long way. We just had a concert “Hearts to Share, Hands to Care” and this concert was a virtual concert and we are asking people to donate to Cancer Support so that we can help others because every day there is somebody coming in for assistance. So please help Cancer Support Services, we need your help. We need your help. We know it is a challenging time for most companies but you can claim it back on your taxes”. (AH)