Jamaica Magazine

Prostate Cancer On The Rise Against African men

Some Jamaicans may perhaps remember when Prime Minister, Michael Manley, resigned in 1992 citing poor health. Soon the rumor mills would have it to say he was suffering from the big �C�. But, few of us understood then as would a few more understand what it is he was suffering from when he died years later in 1997 from prostate cancer.


Between 1989 and 1992, the introduction of the new prostate � specific antigen (PSA) blood test screenings across the Diaspora showed that there was an increase in the number of prostate cancer diagnosed across the Caribbean, North America and African continent. In particular men of the African decent were being stricken with this virtually unknown or talked about type of cancer.


Since then, notable African leaders Nelson Mandela, Ben Carson, Sydney Poitier, Quincy Jones, Louis Farakahn, Colin Powell, Cornel West, and Harry Belafonte today remain survivors of prostate cancer. A debilitating disease, Prostate cancer is terminating the lives of thousands of black men annually. The World Health Organization reports that next to heart disease, prostate cancer is the leading cause of death among black men in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and the Caribbean.


Prostate cancer seem to run in some families, indicating an inherited or genetic factor. In the US prostate cancer victimizes over 220, 000 men per year, eventually killing well over 25,000 every year. While one in six men in America it is said will get prostate cancer it occurs almost 70 % more in African American men.



What can you do about Prostate cancer?


We are told cancer of the prostate is one of the easiest to detect and treat. Symptoms include a weak or interrupted flow of urine. Difficulty urinating, or urinating frequently. Pain or burning sensation when urinating. Blood in the urine and nagging pain in the back , hips or pelvis.


Four kinds of treatment are commonly used , surgery to remove cancer, radiation therapy, high dos x-rays or other high energy rays, hormone therapy,


Regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. One other risk factor that can change the outcome of cancer is changing your diet. Studies show that men opting for meals low in fat and high in vegetables, fruits and grains. Tomatoes, pink grapefruits, watermelon, apricots and pink guavas are rich in lycopene an anti oxidant that helps prevent damage to DNA and may help lower prostate cancer risk. Also, See your doctor regularly.

About the author

Phil Dinham