JIS News

Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency Audrey Marks, has lauded the efforts of Women At Real Risk (WARR), in Washington, D.C., for their outstanding contribution in the fight against breast cancer.
“Women at Real Risk, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, has touched the lives of scores of underserved Jamaican women, through its medical missions, offering services from medical consultancies to the provision of medications and sensitisation training, which ensure that its objective of building awareness through education and individual support is realized,” Ambassador Marks said.
Addressing WARR’s 11th annual breast cancer awareness fund-raising gala on October 16, at the Washington Court Hotel, the Ambassador said that building awareness of breast cancer through education is of vital importance to Jamaica, where there is still the tendency to hide diagnosis and even to shun life-saving breast examination for fear of being diagnosed.
She pointed out that breast cancer is the leading cause of death among Jamaican women 25 to 44 years old and is responsible for approximately 18 per cent of all cancer deaths in Jamaica. Quoting from a report published by the Ministry of Health, she said that over the period, 2006-2008, a total of 1,665 women sought treatment for breast cancer in public hospitals.
The report further revealed that over the same period there was a steady climb in the number of hospital admissions. “While it is not proven that there is an increase in the number of women getting the disease, there is no doubt that the work of organisations such as WARR, has served to make women more proactive in managing risk to their good health,” the Ambassador said.
She praised members and volunteers of WARR for their commitment, dedication and sacrifice in time and resources committed to the staging of the annual health mission held in St. Mary.
Delivering the keynote address, Chief of General Surgery and Associate Professor of Surgery at Howard University Hospital, Dr. Robert DeWitty, Jr. said that breast cancer is no longer confined to an age group or hereditary factors.
“I salute the staging of this very worthy initiative, and commend founder, Totlyn Taylor-Newby and co-founder, Claudia Hudson and urge WARR to continue its collaboration with health care providers in Jamaica and worldwide to provide safe and affordable early detection, as we work to successfully turn the corner on this high incidence disease,” he said.
In her remarks, Mrs. Taylor-Newby said that WARR was founded in Washington, D.C., by a group of Jamaican cancer survivors residing in the U.S. capital in 1998, with one mission – the elimination of breast cancer through education and advocacy.
She explained that WARR has fostered awareness of the danger of breast cancer to women at risk through hands-on outreach programmes and by creating a liaison with women in the Diaspora, beginning in Jamaica.
“The mission of WARR is to ensure, through individual support, empowerment and information, that no one faces breast cancer alone or uninformed,” she said.

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