Ask the Doctor
June 17, 2014
Should my church put all its resources into educating people about pancreatic cancer?

Dear Doc,

Our local church group is planning on adopting an approach to promote cancer education for this year. Our pastor was moved by the fight with pancreatic cancer of Steve Job and Prime Minister Thompson of Barbados. We have thus decided to educate the population on pancreatic cancer and raise funds specifically for that purpose. What do you think?{{more}}

Lucene

Dear Lucene,

It is good and a noble effort that your church has decided to venture into community work. Indeed, many have been moved by the death of the two noted celebrities. Pancreatic cancer is indeed a cancer that requires noting, BUT its occurrence is statistically so low that it might be overkill to put all your resources on this cancer only.

If my memory serves me well, over the past five years, your congregation has had five ladies diagnosed with cancer of the cervix, six men with prostate cancer, two children with leukemia and three ladies with breast cancer. I mention this to show that there are very popular cancers in your own community. It would be best to focus more resources in these areas, as they will most likely bear more fruit. When we build homes in St Vincent and the Grenadines we put more emphasis on a strong roof for hurricanes and not focus on bunkers for tornados. In the same way, we should think about where we should focus most our cancer education.

In our communities we have many ladies who don’t do their annual pap-smears and men who don’t do their annual prostate examinations. A significant reason for that is that they have not been convinced of the great importance of these, along with other medical examinations. We have to focus more energies in these areas to reduce the impact of the cancers that really affect our population and not that which is of another population.

Doc

SVG Cancer Society,P.O. Box 709, Kingstown.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 526-7036