Minister urges support for cancer walk

Cayman Islands Health Minister Mark Scotland is urging residents to participate in a three-day, 45-mile walk/run to help raise money and awareness in the battle against prostate and colon cancer, illnesses that have alarming rates of prevalence across the globe.

The Lions Club of Grand Cayman’s Prostate and Colon Cancer Event, known as the Delano Hislop Memorial Journey for Life in honour of past president of the local Lions Club who died of colon cancer last year, is scheduled to run from Saturday, 30 June to Monday, 2 July. The walk/run will take place each day beginning at 4.30am.

On the first day, of three consecutive days covering 15 miles apiece, participants will go through George Town and along the Esterley Tibbetts Highway bypass to The Strand, returning along West Bay Road. The second day’s route will be along the east-west arterial to Bodden Town and back. The third day will explore the eastern part of Grand Cayman.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Cayman Islands Cancer Society and Cayman HospiceCare. Anyone interested in participating can sign up at the Lions Community Centre.

“We often take good health for granted, but those faced with the reality of a terminal illness such as cancer, will tell you that being healthy is indeed a big deal,” Mr. Scotland said. “They would also tell you that the in order to win the battle against cancer, collective action is needed.

“On this note, I urge everyone to use this opportunity to do their part for the fight against cancer,” he said. “Please go out this weekend and be part of the Lions Club of Grand Cayman’s Prostate and Colon Cancer Event.”

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one man in six will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. About one man in 36 will die of prostate cancer.

The prevalence of colon cancer adds to these grim figures, Mr. Scotland said.

“As the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the US, the American Cancer Society estimates that this year 143,460 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer. More than 51,600 will die from it,” he said.

“While these are not local statistics, they do serve the purpose of showing us that every year, cancer affects millions by disrupting plans and changing the future for entire families,” Mr. Scotland said. “But even as it is almost impossible to find someone who hasn’t heard the word cancer, the disease remains almost indefinable. Because, regardless of medical advances, we are still not absolutely sure what triggers it or what cures it.

“What we do know is that a healthy lifestyle and early detection and treatment do make a difference,” he said.

“This, of course, leaves us with only one course of action: Learning all the facts about risk factors, prevention and testing so we can make informed decisions on how to safeguard our health.”