An initiative of Project Blue Grenada in collaboration with George F. Huggins has left some male employees of that establishment more sensitised on the effects of prostate and colon cancer.
In recognition of September as the month of prostate cancer awareness and with Project Blue on island to give rise to awareness for those illnesses, Huggins has come on board as a major sponsor of the initiative.
With this in mind, Project Blue with agreement from Huggins, has decided to bring some knowledge to the male employees there.
The session was held at Huggins’ main office on Kirani James Boulevard last Thursday.
THE NEW TODAY spoke with spokesperson for the Project Blue initiative in Grenada, Rhema Lewis who indicated that Project Blue is aimed at spreading awareness and raising funds on behalf of persons battling Colon and Prostate Cancer.
“This morning (last Thursday) we met with some of the male employees from Geo. F. Huggins and company and they are one of our major sponsors of Project Blue this year and so part of that sponsorship and partnership…part of that is to do education outreach to their staff.
So this week, not just today but Monday through Thursday we have met with their staff to discuss Prostate and Colon cancer”, she said.
“We touched on prevention, we discussed treatment options, and we talked about examinations, the blood test, different things that they may have to go through and more than anything, just allow the staff, the employees to ask questions,” she added.
The session was facilitated by physician and gastro-intestinal doctor, Dr. Bert Brathwaite, who acknowledged that men are very reluctant to visit the doctor for checkups and emphasized that it is important for early screening to be done.
“Any disorder that you are screened for, then by definition of the term screening, it means that the problem can be picked up early and can be prevented. In the case of prostate cancer, you would already have some prostate cancer cells but you can catch the condition in the very early stages. Many cancers when you treat them very early can be actually cured”, he remarked.
“With colon polyps (growths), you can pick them up even before you have actual colon cancer. In the early stages, you will have a growth that is multiplying with relatively normal cells. If you screen early then you can prevent that growth going on to become a cancer”, he said.
Dr. Brathwaite advised that annual medicals and early screening for these problems should be done.
“Even if you don’t cure cancers, the quality of life that the person has will be much better and the person will often live much longer if treatment is given early”, he said.
Dr. Brathwaite made a plea to men not to shy away from doing the necessary tests.
“It has to do with the macho-type personality that men often carry.
There is also, from a psychological point of view the fact that rectal examinations are considered intrusive to a private part of the body.
As a result, a number of men and a few women will shy away from wanting to get a rectal examination.
There is a slight discomfort with this examination but it is not painful.
“Check early for these conditions. If you have the misfortune of suffering from one of these conditions (or others) and it is diagnosed and treated early, you can have a good quality of life and die from something else.
Project Blue is a year-long initiative in Grenada and a number of events geared at raising awareness and funds that will go towards the Cancer Society will be held.
Lewis spoke about those activities, one of them being Blue Friday on November 10, where the population is asked to wear a Project Blue T Shirt in recognition of persons battling cancer.
She said: “We believe that our warriors need to know that our country is behind them and we can all come together under one specific cause.
The money raised will go to the Grenada Cancer Society and this year the Lions Club reached out to us because their initiative is around cancer as well, specifically childhood cancer and so after speaking with them, we decided to donate part of the proceeds from Blue Friday to the Lions Club to go to a child in need of Care”.
The T Shirts will cost $25 and can be ordered at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Grenada Cancer Society.
According to Lewis, another initiative is Blue Sunday at Sandals which will be an evening of education.
She said that Sandals LaSource Grenada has come on board as a partner for this project.
“…What we’re going to do is educate our warriors and their caretakers about how to cook healthier and for this particular initiative how to cook vegetarian and it’s going to be all local produce.
“It will be a demonstration by the Chef and it will also be a meal that we share together and we’re asking businesses to purchase tickets on behalf of warriors or caretakers. One ticket is $120 and you can buy two for $200.
“We really want businesses to come on board with us on this. We believe in not just education and the fundraising but caring for people that are struggling right now and we can learn a little bit more and have an evening where they are cared for more than anything else.
Lewis announced that March 2018 will be observed as Colon Cancer Month and the plan is to hold a Blue Cocktail in recognition of the event.