Dr. Christopher Tufton, Minister of Health and Wellness pushes for women to encourage and support men when it comes to completing the necessary screenings for prostate cancer.
September is observed as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and in recognition of this, Tufton explained that most men are apprehensive and harbor a sense of fear when it comes to prostate screening and thinks that women, with their ability to influence and spread positivity, should encourage men to get the tests done.
He remarked, “I, therefore, call upon our women to help encourage us,” and support men with regards to screening because “regular check-ups… are essential.” He highlighted that cancer of the prostate in Jamaican men is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and it has the highest death rate among men.
Tufton argued that the ones who are most eager to have the statistics changed are the mothers, wives, sisters and partners and he in turn believes that they have what it takes to make a difference if only they are willing to show some encouragement.
The Minister emphasized how important it is that men recover from the stigma they suffer from with regard to prostate cancer screening. He stated, “Screening is about early detection and early detection saves lives.” Tufton continued to explain that the screening uses prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and digital rectal examination (DRE) to distinguish abnormalities. This process can help to find cancer in its early stages and thus, allow for early treatment.
A reminder was issued by the minister that noted how treatable prostate cancer is, and to spread the knowledge that the Ministry of Health and Wellness, its partner agencies, the National Health Fund (NHF), and the Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS) will continue to ensure that the men of Jamaica are able to access to drugs, therapies for cancer care and the necessary screening facilities required.
He says that with the availability of “expert cancer care” and methodical screening, “we will better control the severity of this disease in our nation.”
Tufton Reiterated the importance of prostate cancer awareness and that it is an issue that required the employment of an all-hands-on-deck approach. The minister voiced, “Together we will work to provide every patient with affordable, reliable care and look toward a future free from prostate cancer.”
The theme for this year’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is ‘The More You Know, You’ll Go…Get Screened’.