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Oaktree Medical and NHIA Partner to Combat Prostate Cancer in The Bahamas

NASSAU, The Bahamas – “I was absolutely lost for words; I was totally shocked because in January for my annual, I was totally fine,” recalls Tyrone Miller after receiving an unexpected prostate cancer diagnosis.

Miller, a recent retiree who diligently worked at the Water and Sewerage Corporation for 43 years was ready to transition to a more relaxed pace not knowing he was now in a battle against cancer.

“Since I was retiring, I decided to just go in and have another physical in May of 2021. So I went to Oaktree and met with Dr. Deveaux and my prostate levels seemed to be out of whack and I couldn't understand it because it was zero a few months prior. I was then referred to Dr. Evans the Urologist and after the biopsy, it was confirmed that I indeed had cancer,” he lamented.   The Bahamas has the 14th highest ranking for prostate cancer in the world. Unfortunately, even with these startling statistics many Bahamian men deliberately avoid the doctor’s office unwilling to face themselves or take health matters seriously. Chief Medical Officer for the Oaktree Medical Center Health Network Dr. Don D. Deveaux strongly encourages men to be mindful of their health.

Tyrone Miller, Prostate Cancer Survivor

“Every day I see men of all ages and walks of life downplaying their health, as a result cutting their own lives short from neglecting self-care and as a result preventative diseases are running rampant. As September is Prostate Cancer Awareness month, we partnered with the National Health Insurance Authority to encourage all men to pay more attention to their bodies while maintaining an active lifestyle, along with having their annual examinations and prostate checks,” said Dr. Deveaux.  

This month Oaktree Medical Center donated $5,000 to NHIA for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, NHIA Chief Executive Officer Mrs. Christy Butler expressed her gratitude for the partnership.

(From left) Dr. Don D. Deveaux, Oaktree Medical Center Health Network Chief Medical Officer donates $5,000.00 to NHIA Chief Executive Officer Christy Butler and Enesca Smith, Human Resources Manager, Oaktree Medical Center.

“Since March this year, NHIA has hosted virtual Beneficiary Educational Sessions as part of our healthcare, quality, and wellness initiatives. Having Oaktree Medical as a partner allows us to seamlessly move from on screen to in-person engagements and we are very thankful for the opportunity. The funds donated are assisting our efforts to host sessions on men’s health and prostate cancer awareness for NHI Beneficiaries and the general public,” she explained.  

Attendees at the September session were able to benefit from the knowledge and expertise from guest speakers Bahamian Urologist Dr. Bert Williams and Therapist Mr. Harrison Thompson.

“We find that men tend to shy away from healthcare. It is our hope with this and future events as well, to provide a haven for men to feel comfortable not just learning and seeking care for physical health but also mental health as well,” says Butler.  

For Miller, embracing the cancer diagnosis with the support of his wife, family and friends made all the difference as he has through early detection and good medical care successfully won the battle.  

“My doctors told me that I could beat this, and it wasn’t a death sentence and so that calmed me and gave me the will to combat it.  My wife and family were in total support behind me every step of the way. I had radiation treatment for about two months at the Cleveland Clinic and upon returning home, Oaktree Medical Center staff and my doctors checked on my progress and for that I am thankful."  

Now declared cancer free with an even greater appreciation for life, Miller has strong advice to all men to adhere to.  

“It is because of early detection that I was able to jump on it right away and that increase my odds. I would say to all men over the age 40, please get your prostate checked, have a physical annually and don’t ignore your body. Seriously, don’t just go to the doctor when you have pain. You only have one good life on this Earth so take responsibility for the things that are important including your health,” Miller expressed.

About Oaktree Medical Center

Oaktree Medical Center (OMC), a world-class medical facility provides high quality, holistic, patient-centred, affordable medical services in a safe, caring environment. They provide customized care to meet the needs of each patient and health condition. OMC is focused on family values and its doors are open to serve the community.