Tufton enlists women’s support in prostate cancer fight
MINISTER OF Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton is urging women to provide support and encouragement to men to do the necessary screening for prostate cancer.
In his message to mark Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, which is being observed during September, Tufton highlighted the fear and apprehension that most men harbour about prostate cancer screening, and pointed out that women have the ability to positively influence men in this regard.
“I, therefore, call upon our women to help encourage us, to hold our hand even, as we contemplate the screening and regular check-ups that are essential,” he said.
Tufton indicated that prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Jamaican men and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among the male population.
The health minister reasoned that everyone, especially mothers, sisters, wives and partners, are anxious to change the current statistic, and expressed confidence that the encouragement from women will make a difference.
He stressed the importance of men getting over any fear or apprehension that they may have about prostate cancer screening.
“Screening is about early detection, and early detection saves lives. Screening for prostate cancer using the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and the digital rectal examination (DRE) can identify abnormalities and may find cancer early, so that affected men can begin treatment before it spreads,” he noted.
Tufton issued a reminder that prostate cancer is treatable and that the health and wellness ministry, along with its partner agencies, the Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS) and the National Health Fund, remains committed to ensuring that Jamaican men have access to the necessary screening facilities, drugs and therapies for cancer care.
“We know that with regular screening, coupled with the expert cancer care that is available in Jamaica, we will better control the severity of this disease in our nation,” he said.
The minister reiterated that prostate cancer is a serious health issue for men that requires an all-hands-on-deck approach to effectively diagnose and treat.
“Together, we will work to provide every patient with affordable, reliable care and look toward to a future free from prostate cancer,” he said.
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month is being observed under the theme ‘The More You Know, You’ll Go…Get Screened’.