Laura Longsworth (President, Belize Cancer Society)
Wednesday, May 28, 2014.AARON HUMES Reporting: A one-day symposium hosted by the Belize Cancer Society and its partners at the Radisson today took a look at cancers common to men and ways to reach out and address issues related to men’s health and cancer.
Prostate and colorectal cancers are especially on the rise among men, particularly, for prostate cancer, in those of African descent, as shown in a recent study where African men in Trinidad and Tobago are three and a half times more likely to catch the disease than those of Indian descent.
But with the macho culture prevalent among males preventing serious visits to the clinic, how does the health sector reach that half of the population?
President of the Belize Cancer Society, Nurse Laura Longsworth says the health service system basically forgets about males after the vaccination scheme instituted for all children from birth to 5 years.
She says there must be means of educating and making services available to men at risk for these cancers.
Visiting UWI Associate Lecturer of Medicine and gastroenterologist Dr. Milton Arthurs told us that the message of better lifestyles and regular screening, including establishing a medical history needs to be spread to the male half of the population.
He says that while the local Cancer Society is doing its part, there is always more to be done.
He called on the media and others in high position to speak out as well and make awareness part of their daily agenda.
The activity is part of Cancer Awareness Month and there were testimonials from cancer survivors like Minister of Housing Michael Finnegan and Belmopan Cancer Society member and public servant Rodney Neal.
The Annual Cancer Walk to close out the month takes place on Saturday.
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