Breast and Prostate cancer march and rally
Posted: 14 Oct 2018
The Health Ministries Department of the St. Vincent & the Grenadines Mission held a March and rally in the town of Barrouallie on Saturday, 13th October to promote awareness of breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Breast cancer and prostate cancer are known as the two most common invasive cancers in women and men, respectively. Although these cancers arise in organs that are different in terms of anatomy and physiological function, both organs require gonadal steroids for their development. The tumors that arise, as a consequence, are typically hormone-dependent and have remarkable underlying biological similarities.
It has also been noted that both types of cancers are on the rise in the Caribbean where many sufferers succumb to the ravages of these deadly diseases. Yet medical advances hold out hope that can help to reduce their growth and spread and thereby save the life of the afflicted person.
The Rally was well supported and many from the community were encouraged by Dr. Nedd, the feature speaker. He shared that one of the challenges in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the fact that folks wait too late to get checked, especially men who seem to be afraid of the doctor.
It is advised the following for breast cancer:
- Women ages 40 to 44 should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screening with mammograms (x-rays of the breast) if they wish to do so.
- Women age 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.
- Women 55 and older should switch to mammograms every 2 years, or can continue yearly screening.
- Screening should continue for as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live 10 more years or longer.
- All women should be familiar with the known benefits, limitations, and potential harms linked to breast cancer screening.
- Women should also know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast changes to a health care provider right away.
Prostate cancer screening should be done:
- At age 50 by men who are at AVERAGE risk of prostate cancer and are expected to live at least 10 more years be screened.
- At age 45 by men at HIGH risk of developing prostate cancer. This includes men of African descent who have a first-degree relative (father, brother, or son) diagnosed with prostate cancer at an early age (younger than age 65). Men of African descent are at high risk for prostate cancer.
- At age 40 by men at even higher risk i.e. those with more than one first-degree relative who had prostate cancer at an early age.
Men who want to be screened should be tested with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. If you decide to be tested, you should get a PSA blood test with or without a rectal exam. How often you’re tested will depend on your PSA level. The digital rectal exam (DRE) may also be done as a part of screening.
Let’s work together to minimize the prevalence of cancers in our society. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has pledged to do all it can to raise awareness and support persons suffering from the effects of cancer.