Us Too shares vital information on Prostate Cancer
Freeport News Reporter
Members of the Rotary Club at Sunset received vital information about prostate cancer from Rudy Sands and a panel of members of the Us Too Prostate Cancer organization.
Us Too, according to its website is a non-profit prostate cancer education and support network consisting of 325 support group chapters worldwide. Founded in 1990 by five men having been treated for the disease, the organization's mission is to help men and their families make informed decisions about prostate cancer detection, treatment and support through education and advocacy.
There are two Us Too chapter organizations in The Bahamas, one in Nassau, New Providence the other in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
Support groups are also on the islands of Eleuthera, Exuma and Cat Island.
Sands, Rev. Percy Kemp and Don Mitchell are the founding members of the Grand Bahama chapter that was established in May 2010.
"As the leader here in Grand Bahama we are so pleased that we are able to go and try to sensitize men to know about and take control of their health.
"Oftentimes women are more concerned about their health and men tend to drawback and not be concerned but we want men to be concerned because we too get sick and get cancer.
"If we detect it early we can take good care of it," said Sands Us Too chapter leader.
Medical consultant of the Us Too Grand Bahama Chapter Dr. Alfred Braithwaite gave detailed information of the biological make up of both the male and female body, clearly explaining the intricate difference between the sexual organs of both.
"In the woman is the uterus which is important for reproduction and foremost is the urinary bladder.
"The bladder has two functions, it stores the urine that is excreted by the kidneys and it expulses the urine through the urethra.
"The urethra in the woman is completely separate from the sexual organ (vagina).
"A man on the other hand, surrounding the bladder is the prostate gland and the tube that excretes urine goes through the center of the sexual organ (penis).
"The reason for this involves the formation of sperm by the testicles and there is this rich fluid in which the sperm must survive and that fluid is produced by the prostate gland," Dr. Braithwaite explained.
According to Dr. Braithwaite the prostate is the only organ in a man that gets bigger with age everything else after that shrinks he said.
"The prostate has this tendency to get bigger and bigger and all of its symptoms are more or less related to the urinary tract and to the formation of semen.
"So that the man may have stoppage of urine.
"When the prostate begins to squeeze on that tube only dribbles comes out and that growth that takes place is a benign condition that cause symptoms of discomfort and the prostate may have to be removed," he said.
The prostate can be affected by inflammation and infection resulting in severe pain but the most common condition that could prove deadly is cancer of the prostate the doctor promulgated.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men worldwide however the disease is more prevalent in black men.
"Cancer of the prostate tends to be slow growing especially at an older age but as one gets older the frequency of cancer increases, so by the time someone reaches 90 years old more than likely there is cancer in his prostate," Dr. Braithwaite declared.
That cancer will not kill the individual according to the doctor but there will be a focus of cancer in the prostate.
Dr. Braithwaite warns that prostate cancer is more prolific in a younger male age group and men should not wait for symptoms to arise because of the presence of that cancer and if one does wait it may be too late for their survival.
"Cancer wherever it is present in the prostate tends to expand, getting bigger breaking off and ultimately traveling throughout the body," Dr. Braithwaite reveals.
He admonished that one does not want to wait for symptoms, sharing that what Us Too does in addition to support is educating the public and with education comes the secret to battling prostate cancer which is early detection.
Every year from the age of 40 men are forewarned to get a Digital Rectal Examination (DRE) and Prostate-Specific Antigen Blood Test (PSA) and if there is genetic history of prostate cancer in a family, males are implored to get both tests done at an earlier age.
Both Mitchell and Rev. Kemp are prostate cancer survivors who shared their stories but more over entreated men to keep abreast of their health, get tested, eat right and exercise.
They also asked Rotarian women present to stress to the males in their lives the importance of getting tested and remaining updated of their health.
The consensus was men needed to be just as concerned about their physical health and well-being because they are the ones that must protect and provide for their families.
Statistics show that one in six men will be affected by prostate cancer, it can be present in the body for 10 years but go undetected if testing is not done and every 13 minutes someone dies as a result of the disease although this is not a necessary reality once persons realize that testing is imperative and early detection can help save a life.
Andrew Moxey a member of Us Too informed Rotarians of a slate of activities the organization is undertaking throughout the month of September, all of which can be viewed in The Freeport News on the Community Page (10) under the Chamber of commerce Calendar events.
© 2012 The Freeport News