CHARLESTOWN, Nevis - JUNIOR Minister of Health in the Nevis Island Administration, Hazel Brandy-Williams has voiced her concerns over the increasing number of breast cancer cases in the Federation.
As the Federation joined the rest of the world to recognise October as Breast Cancer Month, Minister Brandy-Williams seized the opportunity to remind the nation of the staggering number of women diagnosed with the ailment.
During her speech to recognise the mMonth, she explained that in 2020 2.30 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer along with approximately 685,000 deaths, globally.
She said that breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and the second leading cause of deaths in them, adding that the incidence of breast cancer in the Federation continues to rise and the ailment is now affecting younger patients.
According to the Minister, data showed that in 2019, the Federation had recorded 25 new cases of breast cancer and 16 new cases in the following year within the age range of 30 to 90 years.
“Studies have shown that breast cancer can be detected early and treated effectively. It has also shown that breast self-examination and mammograms have led to early diagnosis and effective treatment. And it is also evident that early interventions have led to a reduction in premature deaths associated with breast cancer,” the Minister explained.
Health officials have often, through public education and campaigns, urged women and men to get screened or do self-checks for the ailment, but it is suspected that not many of them had adhere to those pleas.
“The Ministry, over the years, has supported women by helping them to access education, screening and the support they need.
“The Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs encourages you to join with us as we rise together to help women in need. Help us to raise awareness about breast cancer and support women to reduce their breast cancer risks,” the Minister added.
A number of activities have been planned for Breast Cancer Month, including the lighting of the Ministry of Tourism #NevisNice sign in pink; a podcast on breast cancer: Sexuality and Intimacy, with special guests Dr. Merisa Grant Tate and Mrs. Camara Lee-Prentice.
There will also be a Workplace Lump Detection session with Dr. Essien and this will be conducted at selected business places.