Urologist Doctor Dwayne Thwaites and his team are ready to host their 11th annual prostate screening for men over 40 or who have a family history of prostate cancer Saturday January 13 at The Occasions on the By-Pass Road, Pinney’s Estate.

The free screening is projected to have 700 men attending. Registration opens at 6 am with the first rectal exam being conducted at 8 am. Joining Dr. Thwaites this year will be DR, Brian Cohen, Board certified Urologist in North Carolina USA, along with Dr. Daniel Caruso, Board certified Urologist in Miami USA who will be working his 4th Screening event on Nevis.

Following registration patients can anticipate a blood test for prostate specific antigen or PSA and the rectal exam to test the prostate.

Jessica Scarborough Island Medical Specialists and Event Coordinator informed the Observer that the goal of the screening is “to ensure that the male population of the country is provided with adequate information and opportunities to be able to detect abnormalities in the prostate as early as possible, thus improving their chances of being treated effectively.

“In keeping with our Motto, (Early Detection Saves Lives )we are committed in providing free Prostate Screening to the citizens in St. Kitts and Nevis.”

The screening began 11 years-ago with only 20 men being tested. The annual screen has seen a steady increase over the past ten years with the exception of last year. The Observer obtained the medical statistics from the past five years which showed an increase in the prostate abnormality rate.

As Scarborough explained, “In 2014, we were overwhelmed with the large turnout of men within the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. 495 males participated, an increase of 127 over the number of participants for 2013 – 368. Among the 495 clients who attended, there was an abnormality rate detection of 7.67% with a cancer detection rate of less than 1%.

“In 2015, our turnout rate surpassed out projected target of 550 by 10 with a Cancer detection rate of 0.48%. In keeping with our increase in participants screened each year, an overwhelming number of 622 males were screened for Prostate Cancer. There was an abnormality detection rate of 9.88% with a Cancer detection rate remaining under 1% at 0.80%. In 2017, our venture saw 578 persons screened. An abnormality rate of 12.41% was detected with Cancer detection rate of 1.90%.”

In a previous interview with the Observer Dr Thwaites said that the only way cancer can be diagnose is with a pathological exam which means that you have to get a biopsy to confirm it. He said that one can have an abnormal mass on examination and normal PSA and no cancer. In addition one can also have low PSA and a normal exam and have cancer.”

He noted that prostate cancer has decreased considerably over the last 10 years as more younger people are coming in for screening and they’re getting more health conscious and so they come out to get their prostate exams.

He added that the number of late stage diseases that we used to pick up has gone down considerably over the last couple of years. The detection rate has also decreased. He credits this to the amount of screening done on a yearly basis.

In addition to free prostate screening on Nevis, Dr. Thwaites and his team will visit St. Kitts in July and Antigua in August to offer the same service.