Black Immigrant Daily News
With over 100 men participating in the Cancer Support Services’ (CSS), prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening, executive director Jan Linton is urging more to step up.
Speaking to Loop News at the charity’s Darrell’s Road, Christ Church headquarters, Linton noted that younger men – in their thirties – were coming to get tested.
“We are seeing younger men and first-timers coming out, and that is a really good plus.”
She shared that the stigma associated with the prostate persists, with many men shying away due to the digital rectal examination. However, today’s event signalled that perceptions are changing as men arrived either alone, with male family members or friends to get checked.
“The screening is just a blood test and more men shy away because of the digital [rectal] test that would need to be done but we are pleased to say that more men are opening up and younger men as well,” Linton remarked.
She cautioned men not to quickly assume the worse, or think they have cancer because they have elevated PSA levels.
“If you get an elevated level it does not mean it is cancer, it could be other things going on. so we are recommending you see your physician and your physician will see the test to ascertain what is going on,” said the CSS executive director.
She added: “It is nothing to be scared of”.
Saturday’s screening was sponsored by Barbadian concrete company, CEMIX, who donated BBD $2,500 for 50 men to be tested free, however, it attracted even more.
JADA Group marketing manager, Alicia Griffith told Loop that this was the biggest screening hosted by CEMIX.
The company has continually shown support for cancer awareness in Barbados by decorating their trucks since 2014, with pink ribbons. CEMIX shifted to blue ribbons which represents prostate cancer in 2019, recognising the impact among men in Barbados, especially as they operate in a male-dominated industry.
“We are a majority male organisation and charity starts at home. We need to make sure that we as a family are healthy and take care of and supported. So, we wanted to look at illnesses that will affect our workforce primarily which would be prostate…and expand on that to the general public,” Griffith explained.
The next PSA screening at the Cancer Support Services will be held in January 2023, men 35 and up are encouraged to attend.