Friday, October 22, 2010
X-Ray and Diagnostic Ultrasound Consultants (XDUCL) recently launched a new weapon in the detection and diagnosis of breast cancer - The Dilon 6800 which allows for Breast Specific Gamma Imaging (BSGI).
"We have been aware of the limitations of mammography and have been looking for an alternative for a while," noted Dr Winston Clarke, consultant radiologist at XDUCL at the launch at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel recently.
Mammographies miss approximately 15 per cent of breast cancer. BSGI is a procedure which differentiates between cancerous and non-cancerous cells using an image similar to an MRI. Mammograms, on the other hand, are X-rays which reflect tissue densities.
Not a replacement
The diagnostic test is not meant to be a replacement for mammograms, but is ideal when mammograms are inconclusive and further evaluation is needed. It is particularly useful for patients with dense breast tissue, implants, multiple suspicious lesions, clusters or micro-calcifications, palpable lesions not detected by mammography or ultrasound or post-surgical/post-therapeutic masses. It is also useful for those who have taken hormone replacement therapy.
"You can never undermine the value of a negative result," said Professor Douglas Kieper, director of clinical research and education at Dilon Technologies. He explained that women who get inconclusive results often worry about that grey area and this technology helps to clarify that.
It is also useful for surgery and treatment options, so it is recommended for persons with a breast cancer diagnosis before they get treatment.
The procedure lasts between 45 minutes to an hour and is said to be more comfortable than a mammogram as less pressure is required to stabilise the breasts. A small dose of radioactive isotope, which acts as a tracing agent, is injected in the breasts. Once the cells absorb this, they emit gamma rays which are detected and translated into a digital image of the breast using the machine.
Because cancerous cells have a higher level of metabolic activity, they will emit a greater amount of isotope than other tissues.
The procedure costs approximately $40-$45,000 per treatment. Dr Clarke noted that one of the company's challenges is that everything used in the process is imported so that contributes to the cost. He explained that they are waiting for indications from insurance companies that they will cover it.
According to the Chief Medical Officer at the Ministry of Health and Environment, Dr Sheila Campbell-Forrester, 433 breast cancer cases (men and women) were reported in public hospitals in 2007 and 454 in 2008.
By Kathy Belge, Lesbian Life
When your partner is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse or incest, you often suffer right along side her. In addition to witnessing the pain and anguish she is going through, you may not be able to be intimate with her in the way you wish. Your sex life often suffers when you are partners with a sex abuse survivor. What can you do to take care of yourself and support her at the same time?
1. It’s not your fault.
The first thing you need to remember is that you are not your partner’s abuser. Even if you sometimes do things that trigger her, that doesn’t make you a bad person. You haven’t even done anything wrong. Triggers happen.
2. Your emotions are important too.
If your partner is just coming to terms and beginning the healing process of childhood sexual abuse, your relationship is going to change. She is going to be spending a lot of time and energy on her own healing. She might not have the emotional energy to devote to the things in your life. Or maybe you are minimizing what you’re going through because you think her need is greater than yours.
3. You can’t fix her.
This is a big one for lesbians. You can support her and help her through this hard time, but the healing is her job. And she need a qualified professional therapist to guide her through this process. You can never take away what happened to her. You can’t deny her what she is going through now.
4. Educate yourself.
The Courage to Heal and The Survivor’s Guide to Sex are excellent resources. Also check out About’s Incest/Abuse web site.
5. Remember sex is only one part of who you are.
If your partner is not able to be sexual at this time, continue to do the things you both enjoyed together. Have dates, get exercise, visit with friends. Take time for yourself too. This might be a good time for you to do something you’ve always wanted to do, like take an acting class or join a women’s volleyball team.
6. Healing takes time.
Some say healing from childhood sexual abuse or incest is a life long process. And it is. But things can and will get better. Some say that you should expect two full years of therapy to heal from the trauma of incest or sexual abuse. This can be a tough time for your relationship, but it can also be a rewarding time.
7. Take care of your sex life.
If your partner is not able to satisfy you sexually now, make time for yourself and masturbation. Some of the sexual activities you previously engaged in may trigger her, but there are many ways to be intimate.
Your partner may want a break from sex. She may not. If she does want a break, you deserve to hear from her how long. Does she need two weeks? Two months? How will you reassess when she’s ready?
8. If you’re a survivor of abuse yourself.
You too may be a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Remember that each of you has your own healing path. How your partner is dealing with her healing may be different than you. Feel free to share with her what has worked for you, but it may not be what she needs. Don’t push her down your path. If you are both survivors of abuse, you will need to work extra hard on your boundaries. It is best if you each focus on your own healing.
9. A word about triggers.
There are different philosophies about healing from sexual abuse and incest. Your inclination may be to avoid the activities that trigger your partner. Another philosophy is that triggers need to be worked through. People who go through life avoiding triggers, never heal from them and they become more powerful. Your partner and her therapist should come up with a plan for tackling her triggers.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Yet to pass laws changing the existing status of either abortion or homosexuality , without protracted public debate, would be nothing short of governmental myopia and indifference re the sentiments of a vast section of the population. Such a state of affairs calls forth the genius of politicians and legislators.
In one sense, laws affect only the dejure (legal 'ought') status of certain sexual acts but everyone should know that the de facto (practical 'is') situation is often quite different. If abortion is legitimatized on the limited scale as planned now few would benefit from the law since one could hardly rig the psychological states that would qualify one for such abortion.
If abortion on demand be legalized then that would only make public what has been done clandestinely for ages in Jamaica, and effectively slash the fees of the medical practitioners who were already presaging the law. Those who voluntarily restrict their limited freedom in life with a concern for the ethical would not easily make use of the law and those who have no regard for
the ethical do not need the law to 'free them up'.
Decriminalize homosexuality today and what it would probably do in a few months time, is provide startling revelations of the extent to which the practice was engaged in. Homosexuality is not the type of act concerning which a law would necessarily create practitioners, though it may stimulate latent traits in some individuals. The law basically makes the de facto become also de jure Let us not kid ourselves on these issues. Abortion and homosexuality are practices that touch even the hallowed precincts of the Church What this nation needs to deal with is the questions of what informs societal ethics. My analysis of moral trends in Jamaica reveals that officialdom operates on the principles of moral relativism which forces us to live under the dictates of consensus morality the decision of the powerful and/or the plenty.
In such a situation the call to moral absolutes would be seemingly, only a means of appeasing one s conscience in being a 'voice m the wilderness' Vet without absolutes morality loses us moorings and lacks sufficient grounding ethically This is the delight and dilemma of moral freedom Thus, step by step Jamaica teems to be adopting the ethics of the Marquis de Sade to wit 'what is is right So following this philosophy whenever our moral thermometer registers high (low?) enough in favour of an illegal and immoral act then just change the stupid law, and with it the moral status of the act. In a society without moral absolutes the voice of the people is the voice of God.
So premarital sex is only a problem because of the population crisis — that is consistent with moral relativism. Adultery stalks the land with impunity - it is welcomed in a milieu of moral relativism. But if we accept this basis for our ethics what valid argument can we bring against the individuals who wish to exercise freedom and abort?
What right have we to interfere with two consenting individuals engaging in homosexual activity. Notice I did not say consenting adults because, if we smile at children cohabiting heterosexually (as long as there are no off springs) then what ethical argument would we advance against children sharing 'notes' homosexually since no off springs are possible here, at least not yet.
Arguing as I have been doing here is designed neither to condemn nor condone any of the acts mentioned but chiefly to raise the issue of the dilemma that we face as a nation in the throes of moral pluralism. And indeed the notion of democracy demands this pluralism and permissiveness, given the shifting views of the 'demos'.
Rulership of the people by the people means that the moving force of the nation is 'the people'. Thus when the people desire what is to its pleasure, one needs to be sympathetic though not necessarily supportive.
Christians in particular need to recognize the difference between a democracy and a theocracy.
In a theocracy, the operative force is 'theos' (God) thus following the definition of democracy given earlier, theocracy can be seen as 'rulership of the people by God for the glory of God and the highest good of the people'. Jamaica is not a theocratic nation, yet it contains a theocratic community — the Church of Jesus Christ.
This theocratic community must live on the theocratic ethics of the Bible, thereby offering a 'model with a difference' to the world. Christians therefore, can and should call the nation to hear of and observe purity thus, at once they magnetize and evangelize. Realism must remind us though that each man has the right to refuse our option and love for such a man must guard us against being judgmental of him as a person, though we may not countenance his behaviour.
The tensions involved in living theocratically within a democracy are great but a sense of mission to and responsibility for the democracy eases the tensions, somewhat. What creates unbearable tensions and diminishes the magnetic and evangelistic force of the theocratic community is when its members are practitioners of the ethic that informs the democracy.
It has been said that the Jamaican Society is riddled with "closet queens" — homosexual
men, who pose as heterosexual in public and in their relationships with women, only displaying their "true colours" when in the company of their fellow cohorts and prospective initiates. There are also those who are opportunist), not really homosexual but indulge merely for financial reward in much the same way that prostitutes do; or succumb so that they can get, or move ahead in their jobs. Whatever the reasons, there are large numbers of men who enjoy the best of both worlds — men and women - and their ability to switch with great ease between the sexes has been causing alarm among many women who dread the thought of discovering that their boyfriend, lover, husband or intended husband might be "making it" with a man.
The men who go both ways call themselves "bisexual" and while their homosexual partners are well aware of their heterosexual activities, the women in their life are usually the last to know and many never find out.
A Gay Freedom Movement (GFM) spokesman said that it is difficult to say what percentage of the estimated 100,000 homosexuals in Jamaica go both ways, but he thinks that a large percentage pf the gay community is bi-sexual. The spokesman said that the difficulty
in estimating this number arises because of the very diffuse inter-relationship between heterosexuality and homosexuality.
In explanation he pointed to a model devised by Alfred Kinsey, founder of the Institute for Sexual Research. Kinsey classifies the, sexual preference pf the human being on a continuum from zero to six and claims that the exclusively heterosexual lies at zero, -while the exclusively homosexual is to be found at six. In between those two points are men and women
who indulge in homosexual and heterosexual relationships to varying degree.
In general, the men who engage in sexual relationships with men and women at the same time are in very precarious positions. They always have to be on guard against being found out by their families and. "straight friends. Being "found out" could mean major changes in their lives and the almost instant breakdown of the facades that they have so carefully
built up over the years.
The majority of them lead two lives - the One in which they are married, usually with children and have secure jobs. They present to the world a front which says "I am a normal, happily married man," Within the constraints of that "normal" life, there is the other life in which some of them especially the older men maintain long and stable relationships with male-lovers, or go "cruising" for the 'one-night stands' with the men their own age, or sometimes younger
men who are just 'coming out'.
Thirty-seven year old "Eric" is one bi-sexual man who has succeeded in keeping his homosexual life secret and apart from his 12-year-old marriage. The fear however, that he has lived with for the 19 years that he has been a practicing homosexual, "is the day when it will come out in the open", and his carefully cultivated life will come tumbling down around him.
"I am not happy about living a double life. I really am not,", he said, but in the meantime he
strives desperately to protect the deceit which is his life. "I go to the occasional gay party, and don't move very closely in the gay community. I have too much at stake," the father of a nine-year-old girl said. The things he has at stake are his family, and in particular his daughter to whom he it very close, and his job which brings him about $60,000 a year.
"Eric" says that he has often thought of living his life as a gay man but he stands to lose too much. "My daughter couldn't deal with a separation, and she is the one reason why I work so hard." he said. As to his job, he feels that the Board of Directors would find some excuse to fire him if they ever found out that he was homosexual. More than that however, "Eric" claims that he is very committed to his marriage which he described as a very stable relationship. He said that when he got married he was very in love with hit wife whom he still cares for deeply. But he wouldn't tell her he is also homosexual. "I have thought about telling her but the wouldn't
stay in the situation once the found out. She would take it violently and would feel that she had to leave me," he said. •
He also feels that she would tell her relatives and he doesn't think that he could deal with the embarrassment, "To tell her would be to end everything," he said.
The option he chose was to keep his homosexual and his heterosexual relationships separate and apart.
At a rule, therefore, the gay men with whom he is involved do not visit his home, and he is careful not to invite any man who is openly effeminate to his home. "Eric" says that there are many homosexual men who lead double lives, and that every now and then he goes to a gay party and see people who would know you "open your mouth in shock."
"I don't think you could ever conceive of how many men are in marriages who are in homosexual relationships. There are quite a lot of people who would never suspect," he said.
In complete contrast to the men who deliberately set out to keep their homosexuality a secret, is 25 year old "Paul" and 27 year old "Peter" who believe in total honesty with the women with whom they deal. "I lay it on the line before I get involved with a woman, Paul said, admitting that his honesty has only cost him one girl friend so far. The accounts clerk who hat been in- a steady relationship with a male lover for four years admits that he talks to women whom he thinks are open-minded enough to accept his homosexuality. 'Peter" also subscribes to being honest in his relationships with women. He is married and his wife who is pregnant with their first child knows that he is gay and knew this before they got married. He takes her to gay parties at which he takes turns dancing with her and with his male lover.
His wife says that she isn't bothered about him dancing with a man because at a gay party one expects him to be dancing with men. She also does not mind her husband having relationships with men. but said that she would be jealous if he was having a relationship with a woman.
"Women are more possessive and in relationships they tend to hang on and it would have to be secretive. Guys are more open." she said adding that she usually knows the man her husband is having a relationship with because he comes to their home
"If "Peter" has a friend that I don't like I will tell him and he generally respects that. I am not afraid to tell him if I don't lite the person." she said.
The Gay Freedom Movement spokesman supports honesty in a relationship between homosexual men and women. He' said that whenever he has the opportunity like when a gay man comes to him saying he is planning to marry. DC counsels him to be honest
with the woman he is marrying. "It is the deception and the deceit that goes along with not telling the woman that leads to the problems later." he said. Most women are turned off by the idea of dealing with a homosexual man. Their first considerations are usually with health reasons and how deeply they feel for the man. "Peter's" wife dealt with the health problem right
up front. "I read a lot about it and before I got married I discussed k with my doctor and he told me all the disadvantages, so I am aware of them" she said. The result is that her husband does not touch her without first applying to himself an ointment prescribed by her doctor.
"I don't think 1 could deal with it." a 24 year old professional woman said when I put the question to her. "but I would hone that 1 would be given a chance to decide."
Marriage on the rocks
An 18 year did college student who says the that she has been in three relationships - two of them sexual -in which the men tuned out to be homosexual said that
she was hurt that none of the men felt they could be honest with her before they entered into the relationship.
On the three occasions she found out that they were gay from hearing people talk about them, and it was only when she confronted them with the information that she heard the truth. The relationship* never lasted after that, although she is still very friendly
with the men.
There are some women who marry homosexual men or get into relationship! with them with the hope that they can change them. "Marie" a 30 year old professional woman married
a 27' year old man she knew was gay. Her first and main reason was that she was in love with him and thought the could be incorporated in his life, but looking back on it now she says that maybe she didn't really believe that he was homosexual.
"Deep down, I probably thought he was rebelling against something and could change." she said.
Months after her marriage she found out just how wrong she was. "After the marriage he got more gay than ever." she said. In retrospect she thinks he really needed to be married so that he could have a front for his homosexual activities. She said that those activities with men really not have bothered her as long as she wasn't faced with them, as long as he taking care of home." Instead however, there was an unending stream of friends who were always their house and with whom he spent most of his time. After some months of trying to explain to him how she felt without any change she walked out. After a month he asked her to return, but six month later she was forced to leave again. That was about a year ago and now they live apart.
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Thanks for your Donations
thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venure that has now become a full time activity. When I first started blogging in late 2007 it was just as a pass time to highlight GLBTQ issues in Jamaica under then JFLAG's blogspot page but now clearly there is a need for more forumatic activity which I want to continue to play my part.
Activities & Plans: ongoing and future
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Individuals who are mentioned or whose photographs appear on this site are not necessarily Homosexual, HIV positive or have AIDS.
This blog contains pictures that may be disturbing. We have taken the liberty to present these images as evidence of the numerous accounts of homophobic violence meted out to alledged gays in Jamaica.
Faces and names witheld for the victims' protection.
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Recent Homophobic Incidents
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Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police
b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist
c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tensed) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation
e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports
f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)
g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible
h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violatedi) When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions
j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it