For many males worldwide the words prostate cancer drives an abundance of fear into their hearts and minds that only a man could understand. However, the sad reality is as a man grows older this increases his chances of developing prostate problems. According to the World Cancer Research Fund International more than 1.1 million cases of prostate cancer were recorded in 2012. The same source added that prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men worldwide. Black men for some reason, tend to have a very high rate of prostate cancer, along with a higher death rate. The medical fraternity tells us that Jamaica has a very high rate and aggressive form of prostate cancer among the male population.
Like many other illnesses, early detection is critical to
one’s survival. However, the cost of treatment for prostate cancer can be quite
daunting, especially for the average male without health insurance. This fact
was recently highlighted by a male reader to one of our local newspapers. He
stated that after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer the cost for
radiotherapy was $2million. This is most
outrageous. We all know the cost of health care is not cheap, however, when we
begin to quote such numbers in the millions for treatment we are not giving the
patient much choice. When one is diagnosed with a terminal illness that
individual is most vulnerable. To add more stress to the patient with such
astronomical costs it is very disturbing. In addition to the fear men face of
being digital examined there is now an added factor which is certainly a
deterrent to fighting prostate cancer.
The time has come for us to coordinate all stakeholders
together to work on developing a more affordable policy to treat prostate
cancer. It cannot be that we allow people to wither away and die because of
their inability to afford and access health care.