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Doctor hopes to start free clinics for men to help in fight against prostate cancer

Jonathan Makanjuola

A consultant urologist is hoping to offer free monthly health clinics for men to help in the fight against prostate cancer.

Jonathan Makanjuola wants to make it easier for the uninsured or underinsured to get a prostate exam and hopes to start the clinics next year.

Dr Makanjuola said: “Uninsured or underinsured men are often the ones who come to us with metastatic cancer, which costs tens of thousands of dollars in treatment. If we target this group, we could save money spent on healthcare.”

Metastatic cancer is cancer that spreads from where it started to a distant part of the body.

Dr Makanjuola made a presentation on the plan to the Hamilton Rotary Club on Tuesday, telling Rotarians that the disease was the most common form of cancer among men on the island in 2019 and the second most prevalent cancer overall behind breast cancer.

He also said that Bermudian men are more likely to die from the disease compared to the world average. Black men are also twice as likely to get the cancer as other men.

Prostate cancer symptoms and treatments

Prostate cancer typically has no early symptoms and can be detected through examining the surrounding area.

Routine screening for the disease is recommended for all men over the age of 50. Screening involves blood work, a physical exam and MRI scanning.

Treatment can include a six-week radiation programme or surgically inserting the radiation directly into the prostate.

He said: “One in four Black men will contract prostate cancer in their lives, compared to one in eight men in general.

“Men who are more than 45 years of age and whose family members may have had the disease are also more susceptible to contracting it.”

Dr Makanjuola said the disparity was due to a number of factors, including a perceived stigma surrounding going to the doctor, men feeling “nagged” or pressured by their partners into seeing one, or only going to see one when it was too late.

He added: “We have to create a culture where men get checked on a regular basis to avoid some of their parts completely breaking down. For this to happen, we need a change in mindset.”

The proposed clinics, which would be held on the first Saturday of the month at different locations around the island, will cost around $30,000 a year to fund and doctors and nurses will work free of charge. The funding is only for the required equipment.

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Published November 17, 2022 at 9:22 am (Updated November 17, 2022 at 3:32 pm)

Doctor hopes to start free clinics for men to help in fight against prostate cancer

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