In an effort to encourage more Barbadian men to undergo screening for prostate cancer, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) is offering a 50 per cent reduction in the fees for Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) tests every Friday during November.

The PSA is a blood test which is used worldwide as a screening tool for prostate cancer. A small sample of blood is taken and then sent to a laboratory for analysis.

The level of PSA is then reported back to the patient???s physician who will analyse the results.??Barbados has the second highest incidence of prostate cancer in the world per capita, and is estimated to have one of the highest mortality rates in the world.

Chief Executive Officer of the QEH, Dr. Dexter James, explained that the QEH was offering the reduction in price in an attempt to raise awareness about the disease and encourage more men to be tested, since early detection was crucial to saving lives.

???We are also encouraging all private physicians and providers of medical insurance to encourage patients and policyholders, respectively, to take advantage of this preferential rate. The old adage that ???prevention is better than cure??? is a fitting metaphor in support of the early detection and treatment of prostate cancer when it is diagnosed early.???

Dr. James explained that it would be a simple three-step process. The first step was to make a payment of $35.00 for nationals and $45.50 for non-nationals at the Accounts Department of the QEH.

Patients would then proceed to the Phlebotomy Unit where the blood sample would be drawn. They may collect their results 48 hours later and these results should then be taken to a physician for interpretation.

Author: QEH/BGIS

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