The belief that men do not pay enough attention to their health was dispelled on Saturday morning when Cancer Support Services held a Prostate Specific and Carcinoembryonic Antigen (PSA/CEA) Screening. The hosting of the event was symbolic because it coincided with World Cancer Day.
This session, which took place at their office at Dayrells Road in Christ Church, attracted a large crowd.
Janette Lynton, Executive Director and Founder of Cancer Support Services, was pleased with the turnout. She noted this was their first event for the year. Events are scheduled for every six weeks. She said, “We started at 10 am and so far we have 160 people waiting but we have seen 100 already and it’s just 12 pm and we are finishing at 1 pm.”
Lynton is appreciative of the support provided by corporate Barbados. She stated, “I want to thank all of the persons that came on board with us, Summit Rehab Centre, who sponsored 10 men today and I also want to thank the lab and all of the persons who have donated the water, everything today.”
She confirmed, “We are seeing quite a few younger persons coming out, which is very commendable and we trust that this will continue on that trend.” She emphasised, “Although the person may get a high PSA that does not mean it is cancerous. It can be an infection; it can be so many other different things. But we always recommend that they take the results to their physician and if they don’t have a physician, we would recommend one and we usually follow up with them so that they are not left out there alone.” The procedure involves a blood test and there is nothing to fear. “Early detection is the key,” she assured.
Michael Cobham, who attended the screening, described the experience as a pleasant one. “It was a long wait because there were a lot of people that came out to get tested today but the process itself was very simple.” He advised, “I encourage everyone to come out. I came for my general health. Getting older I want to know more about what is happening to me. This was an opportunity to come and get the test at a discounted price, so I took it.”
Though the recommended age for the test is 35, if there is a strong history of cancer in their family, individuals are encouraged to get screened at an earlier age.
Cancer survivor Ian Carrington was on hand promoting his self–published book An Unexpected Challenge : My Battle with Cancer, which chronicles his experience with the disease. He shared, “Twenty- eight years ago I had a confrontation with cancer and I thought I should share my story, looking at the impact on myself, my family and looking at the methods I used to heal and perhaps more importantly the lessons I learned in the process.”
A cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. He said , “I subsequently learned there are a lot of people that survive it but a lot of people are not aware of that.” He reinforced that persons should listen to their bodies, if something does not feel quite right they should not hesitate to get the issue checked. His book is available at local bookstores across the island.
Summit Rehab Centre representatives were on site displaying some of the products that they offer. Students from Ross University School of Medicine conducted free blood pressure checks.
A similar exercise will take place in St Lucy in March to capture the northern catchment area. (STT)