By Carlena Knight
A local urologist is sharing her concern over the dip in screenings for prostate cancer that is occurring in the country due to the pandemic.
Dr Regene Johnson was speaking to this newsroom a day after the world recognised prostate cancer awareness month on the matter.
She noted that it was already a big task pre-Covid to influence men to get screened and now because of the pandemic those numbers have dwindled significantly.
“The biggest concern that we have right now is that we already had quite the difficulty in getting patients to come for prostate cancer screening. They were doing pretty well with the whole Lion’s [Club] initiative and since the Covid-19 pandemic, they have stopped coming. Now as it has gotten worse, it has gotten even worse in terms of numbers for the consults,” Dr Johnson said.
Although the clinic at the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre is temporarily closed, Dr Johnson assured men that there are other safe options available for them to be screened.
“They can go to the private offices. I know not everyone can go to a private physician, but then the district clinics are also open. So, it is not a situation where the patients are not going to be seen or they are going to be forgotten or there is no avenue that they can go to. There are places that they can go to, they just have to social distance, follow the protocols, ensure that they are not ill otherwise and without any issues they will be seen and evaluated,” she added.
Dr Johnson is of the opinion that men in the country are lackadaisical when it comes to looking about their health. This she mentioned is another cause for concern as most men do not visit doctors until they are seriously ill.
She is, however, encouraging the males in society to take their health more seriously.
“I just want to let the men know that even though you are the breadwinners, and even though men are really the ones we look to for help and to take care and to be the person that is the strongest, they are allowed to get ill. They are allowed to lean on others and they are allowed to seek help. So, anything we can do to help our urology department at the Sir Lester Bird Medical Centre is available, even though the clinic isn’t functioning at this time. Anytime they need to see one of us they can always get in contact with one of us and we will find ways to see them,” Dr Johnson said.
“We just want our men to not be scared. Not be overly concerned when thinking I have to go to the doctor but take that first step to get checked and get tested and make sure that they stay healthy.”