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JIS News

The Jamaica Cancer Society and Jamaica Reach to Recovery will be observing Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October), under the theme: ‘Every Woman Counts – Mother, Daughter, Sisters, Friends. The Circle of Caring Never Ends’.
For the month, the two groups will be holding several activities, to better educate the public about breast cancer.
Some of the major activities include a medical symposium, which is to be held at the Pegasus Hotel on October 29; the annual ‘Keeping Abreast’ luncheon, which will be held at the Hilton Kingston Hotel on October 6, and the Dr. Denise Thwaites 5K walk/run, to be staged on October 28.
The month of activities began yesterday (October 1), with a church service at the Church of the Transfiguration, and will conclude on Sunday October 29. A series of survivor make-over sessions will also be held in Kingston, Portmore, May Pen, Mandeville, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios.
Speaking at a press conference to launch the month on September 27 at the Knutsford Court Hotel, Dr. Trevor McCartney, Consultant Surgeon and Senior Medical Officer at the Kingston Public Hospital, pointed out that there are 46 new cases per 100,000 persons who are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in Jamaica.
“This is following a worldwide trend where we are seeing an increase in the incidence of breast cancer. Therefore, the onus is on us not only to provide early detection, but to ensure that the treatment option for each and every Jamaican is available across the length and breath of the island,” said Dr. McCartney. Dr. McCartney said there was a difficulty in retaining Jamaicans who are trained in therapeutic radiography to treat breast cancer.
“Because it is such a scarce skill internationally, as fast as we have trained our therapeutic radiographers, they have left for more lucrative clients,” he said, adding that next year, “hopefully in January, we intend to offer a course in therapeutic radiography”.
“We will have more human resources on the ground to allow us to use more machines to offer more service to persons. What we are seeking is the involvement of the private sector along with the government sector and the cancer society in assisting us in obtaining more equipment, so that we can allow more persons better access for radiation,” Dr. McCartney said.