Men warned to take prostate cancer seriously
Dr William Aiken is warning men that screening for prostate cancer is the only way to guarantee early detection of the disease. At the same time, Aiken, who is also president of the Caribbean Urological Association, said that men should not fear having an anal examination done.
Aiken argued that as soon as men of African descent reach the age of 40, they should do a blood test called prostate-specific antigen annually as well as a digital rectal examination (DRE).
The much-feared DRE is a procedure which sees a doctor inserting his gloved and lubricated finger in the anus of the man. The doctor feels the surface and consistency of the prostate.
Nothing that men generally do not like to have the rectal examination because it is an invasive test, Aiken said: "I say to men is that it takes about five seconds when done by a urologist who knows what he/she is looking for, and it can save your life."
The president said that in spite of their best efforts, men who have very healthy lifestyles can still develop prostate cancer, "so if you want to be around to see your children and grandchildren, do your family a favour and have the test done".
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting Jamaican men and the most common cause of cancer deaths in men. Aiken, who is also a senior lecturer at the University of the West Indies, said the only way to discover the disease early is through screening.