800 screened for prostate cancer in Grand Bahama

By DENISE MAYCOCK

Tribune Freeport Reporter

dmaycock@tribunemedia.net

A RECORD 800 men on Grand Bahama were screened for prostate cancer during an annual event hosted by Us TOO Grand Bahama, in partnership with the Cancer Society of The Bahamas.

This year's turn-out surpassed all others that have been held since 2011, according to the organisation which conducted the free screening on September 7 and 8 at the Pearce Plaza Government Clinic on Coral Road in Freeport.

Last year 700 men participated and a target of 800 was set for this year.

During the late afternoon on Saturday, September 8, Cornell Stuart walked into the clinic and presented himself for screening and became the 800th participant.

He was greeted with "resounding applause," according to a Us TOO representative as organisation reached its goal.

"Us TOO Grand Bahama is proud because our awareness programme was successful," the organisation said in a press statement.

Prostate cancer is a high-ranking killer of Bahamian men even though it is 100 percent treatable once it is diagnosed early.

Free screening started in 2011 when some 89 men participated in the first screening. The organisation depends on donations from corporate Grand Bahama to provide free screening.

Us TOO's aim is to significantly reduce the incidents and deaths from prostate cancer in Grand Bahama.

The organisation embarked on a cancer research project and began testing for the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 gene mutation. According to preliminary results, the occurrence of the BRCA gene mutation is high on Grand Bahama. Research is continuing on the island.

The group's next goal is to secure a home building with space adequate enough to conduct screening, consultations, education and counseling activities.

Due to the high turnout of men every year and after meeting its goal this year, it is believed that the current location would not be able to accommodate more than 900 men.

September has been designated Prostate Cancer Month, and a number of events and activities were held and will continue.

The group will culminate Prostate Cancer Month on Sunday, September 30, with an 11am church service at the Hawksbill Church of God of Prophecy in Hawksbill.

Following the service at 2pm, the annual luncheon will be held at the Flamingo Restaurant at Castaways Resort.

US Too thanked all participants, corporate sponsors, the Public Hospitals Authority, medical and clinical volunteers, the Grand Bahama Medical and Dental Association, the Us Too Committee and members of the Grand Bahama community who continue to support their efforts.