JIS News

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  • Jamaicans are being encouraged to support the Jamaica Cancer Society’s (JCS) effort to raise awareness as well as promote early detection and treatment of all cancers.
  • This call comes from Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, who said the reward for such support “could well be the saving of your own life or that of a family member or close friend.”
  • The Governor-General said supporting the organisation contributes towards winning the battle in the fight against cancer, which is lost by too many Jamaicans.

Jamaicans are being encouraged to support the Jamaica Cancer Society’s (JCS) effort to raise awareness as well as promote early detection and treatment of all cancers.

This call comes from Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen, who said the reward for such support “could well be the saving of your own life or that of a family member or close friend.”

In his address, read by Custos of St. Andrew, Hon. Donna Parchment Brown, at the JCS’ 60th Anniversary Launch ceremony, at King’s House, on April 20, the Governor-General said supporting the organisation contributes towards winning the battle in the fight against cancer, which is lost by too many Jamaicans.

“The JCS’ outreach has engendered several initiatives which are reaping resounding success, such as Jamaica Reach to Recovery and Relay for Life, both of which deserve to enjoy substantial sponsorship and support,” he said.

The Governor-General noted that another initiative that should also be supported is the JCS’ mobile screening unit that has assisted many Jamaican women, especially in rural communities, to gain access to early detection and screening services.

In the meantime, he encouraged Jamaicans to get screened for cancer on a regular basis, as early detection is key to survival for cancer patients. He made a special appeal to men to “conquer that fear” and as soon as possible, get tested for prostate cancer, which he reminded is not a death sentence when detected early.

Citing the 2013 Economic and Social Survey of Jamaica, the Governor-General pointed out that cancer is the fourth leading cause of death with an estimated incidence and mortality rate of 31 and 12 per 100,000 persons, respectively.

“These figures presage the future economic and social burden which our country will face from cancer.  But as the saying goes, ‘prevention is better than cure’ and since we are aware of the potential challenges of this disease, I encourage each and every Jamaican to make lifestyle changes that will reduce their risk for cancer,” he said.

He lamented that too often persons die from cancer, when screening and early detection and treatment could have saved their lives.

“Thankfully, the JCS’ promotion of a combination of some of these early detection procedures has given many cancer patients a new lease on life. They are able to live longer, have a better quality of life and take care of themselves and their families,” he said.

Meanwhile, Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, also praised the JCS on its mission over the past 60 years to eliminate cancer as a major public health problem.

In his address, read by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Kevin Harvey, Dr. Ferguson said the JCS’ mission is in keeping with the Ministry’s focus on the holistic improvement of cancer care in the public health sector, which looks at cancer prevention, early detection and screening, diagnosis and treatment and palliative care.

He also made an appeal for persons “to join the band of persons who continue to donate their time, money and technical expertise to enriching and expanding the services of the Jamaica Cancer Society.”

The JCS is a non-profit non-governmental organisation, established in 1955 and charged with the mandate to “fight and defeat cancer in all its forms.”

The organisation provides services through fixed site and mobile screenings, national education and public health awareness programmes, selected treatment and diagnostic services and counselling and support mechanisms for victims of cancer and their families.