With prostate cancer on the rise in Guyana, the country’s Health Ministry will be collaborating with a local non-governmental organization to launch a special programme soon, targeting men to promote testing. News about the programme was announced in the Commitee of Supply on Friday by Minister, Dr Frank Anthony during the consideration of Budget 2024 estimates.

He also informed the committee that on Sunday, a new pathology lab will be launched. This facility is expected to have a turnaround time for biopsies of less than a week.

Expressing concerns about the reach of information to the populace was Opposition Member of Parliament (MP), Volda Lawrence, who recommended that aside from a testing campaign, an “aggressive” sensitization programme is also launched.

She noted that there are unfortunate instances where persons are unaware of these kinds of illnesses and the services provided by the public health institutions. She noted that men are showing up to health institutions only after the cancer has reached advanced stages.

Minister Anthony acknowledged that more needs to be done, not only regarding programmes relating to prostate cancer, but many other crucial services offered by the ministry.

“I think a lot of people don’t know that they exist, and we want more people to utilize them (services). So, I agree with you that we need to be more proactive,” he said.

Dr Anthony noted that when the prostate campaign is launched, posters with influencial people will be placed accross the country. These persons have agreed to become “Ambassadors of the programme”.

“I think that once we get started, and with the names that we will be using, and them having agreed to kind of being the Ambassadors of the programme, I think a lot of men will at least pay attention,” he noted.

The ministry last year recorded an increase in prostate cancer. Some 107 persons were diagnosed, which accounts for 11 percent of all cancers in the country.


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