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Prostate test drive


Prostate test drive

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OVER 200 MEN, including a number of young ones, have taken part in two of the Barbados Cancer Support Services’ prostate specific antigen (PSA) screenings for the year.

Executive director Jan Lynton revealed this as the association held a PSA screening day at its offices in Belmont Road, St Michael, last Saturday.

Lynton added that some men indicated they would rather visit those offices than see a physician as the environment was more comfortable.

Lynton said the charity had developed new strategies to reach out to young people and the public, such as taking part in radio programmes, which had contributed to the good turnout.

A $50 fee was charged for the blood test, and representatives from MediLab Service Inc. conducted the screening.

Samuel Carrington, who usually got his blood test screening done through the charity, said a lot of men refrained from getting prostate checks because of preconceived fears.

“The greatest fear men have is the finger sweep because of the feedback they get from those who got it,” he said. “But having this test could alleviate the fear and encourage younger people to get tested.

“But I don’t know why men were still not coming out in greater numbers. Maybe, they don’t know about the blood test, or think that test also involves a finger sweep,” he added.

Carrington said the public should be re-educated about prostate examinations to bring more awareness to the PSA screening method.

Lynton also said the charity was looking for a new home to accommodate the interested people who took part in Cancer Support Services activities. Though she said the present location from which they have been operating for over 21 years was convenient, she stressed a bigger office would better facilitate fundraising drives. 

Over the years, the charity adopted Ward C12 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital; established a loan service of wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds and bed pans to patients; conducted annual public education activities, and provided counselling to families of cancer patients. (SB)