Against the background of a steady increase in the incidence of prostate cancer in Jamaica between 1993 and 2002, and in an effort to learn more about the factors that cause this disease, and identify prevention strategies, a medical team from the University Hospital of the West Indies conducted a study from March 2005 to July 2007, partially funded by CHASE at a cost of J$6.4 million.
The study involved the collection and analysis of blood samples from more than 500 men to determine the contribution of diet, lifestyle and genetic factors to prostate cancer in Jamaica. And, the research team included Dr. Maria Jackson, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Community Health and Psychiatry at the University of the Hospital of the West Indies, as well as, Dr. Marshall Tulloch-Reid and Professor Norma McFarlane-Anderson.
“Research projects in developing countries are usually hampered by a lack of funding. With the assistance provided by CHASE, we have gathered useful information that will help men of African descent, both in Jamaica and other countries to reduce the risk posed by prostate cancer.”
– Dr. Maria Jackson, Senior Lecturer, Department of Community Health and Psychiatry, University of the Hospital of the West Indies
Prostate cancer, which international studies indicate is more prevalent among black men than their white or Asian counterparts, is the most commonly-diagnosed solid malignancy among Jamaican men; and it also accounts for the highest number of cancer-related deaths in this segment of the population. Between 1993 and 2007, the number of confirmed cases rose from 36 in every 100,000 men to 78.1 per 100, 000.