With the inaugural Oncologist Conference at Halcyon Resort described as an overwhelming success, one of the facilitators at the event is calling on men in the region to put their pride aside and get their prostate checked immediately.
The call was made by Director of Clinical Medicine and Research at UWI Bahamas Dr. Robin Roberts, who said that Caribbean men are not making a difference where testing for prostate cancer is concerned and added that despite all the warnings, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-American men are still taking the disease lightly.
He said that an alarming number of men continue to be affected by Prostate cancer within the Caribbean despite all the progress that has been made in the field, even with new methods to detect the disease early.
“Prostate Cancer continues in the Caribbean to be a disease that is causing significant health burden among the territories, even though we now have early diagnosis available for prostate cancer, we still have many men who are not coming to the doctor or going to their health facilities to have regular check-ups”, Dr. Roberts said.
The medical official is of the view that black men especially need to take great care of their bodies and put stock into their physical wellbeing because men of African heritage and African descent have a very different type of prostate cancer, one that is much more aggressive and one that kills much quicker that the prostate cancer that is observed in other races.
“The problem is that in the Caribbean, we are men of African descent and there is very clear scientific evidence that men of African descent have a much different type of prostate cancer, it is a cancer that is much more aggressive, it spreads very quickly, it shows up in our men at an earlier age and when it shows up in our men at an earlier age, it is a higher stage disease. It is very clear in North America that African Americans present higher incidents of prostate cancer that are at least two to three times higher than their white counterparts and they die of the disease two to three times more than their white counterparts”, Dr Roberts noted.
He said that men in the Caribbean need to get away from the stereotypical definition of a ‘real man’ and become real men with a solid family life and being a leader in society.
Dr. Roberts was one of many Doctors who were in attendance and facilitated during the first ever Cancer Conference at Halcyon on Sunday.
There were also presentations by Antigua and Barbuda’s Dr. Joseph “Joey” John, Dr. Vikash Chatrani of Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago’s Dr. Alicia Rodriguez, Glen Jones from the Cancer Centre of the Eastern Caribbean along with his counterpart Dr. Thomas McGowan.
Andrew Feifer of Canada and Ethicist Dr. Derrick Aarons of the Caribbean Public Health Agency in Trinidad and Tobago also participated in the Conference.
Under the theme, “Cancer care in the Eastern Caribbean – 2016 and Beyond”, participants at the Inaugural Conference also heard addresses by Chairman of the Cancer Centre Eastern Caribbean, Dr. Conville Brown, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Rhonda Sealey-Thomas and Governor General of Antigua and Barbuda His Excellency Dr. Rodney Williams, who delivered his discourse via video recording.
Over one hundred and twenty (120) individuals attended the function which was sponsored by Elekta, American University of Antigua, Janssen, Merk, Caribbean Pharmaceutical Supplies, Rochet Pharmaceutical, A.S Bryden and Sons, the Family of the late Ian Shoul and Bi-Medical International.