Jamaica will be observing Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, under the theme: ‘Early Detection: Your Best Defence in the Fight Against Breast Cancer’.
Throughout the month, the Jamaica Cancer Society, with the support of Yoplait yoghurt, will be staging a series of initiatives, seeking to increase awareness about breast cancer and to garner support for its activities.
Some of the main activities include: A Relay for Life, in Ocho Rios on October 3; celebration of World Mammography Day on October 16; the annual ‘Keeping Abreast’ luncheon, at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on October 22; and aerobics sessions in Emancipation Park each Tuesday.
The activities actually began on September 27, with a church service at the Webster Memorial Church in Kingston. They will end on Saturday, October 31, with the Denise Thwaites 5K run/walk. A series of survivor make-over sessions and public forums will also be held this month.
Director of Health Promotion and Protection in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Eva Lewis Fuller (right) and broadcaster, Nadine Blair, share a pamphlet on breast cancer, at a press conference to launch Breast Cancer Awareness Month, at the Jamaica Cancer Society, Kingston, on Thursday (October 1). The month is being observed in October under the theme: ‘Early Detection, Your Best Defence in the Fight Against Breast Cancer’.
Speaking at a press conference to launch the month Thursday (October 1), Minister of Health, Hon. Rudyard Spencer, reiterated that early breast cancer detection was critical, as it improves the chances of survival.
The Minister’s message was delivered by Director of Health Promotion and Protection in the Ministry, Dr. Eva Lewis Fuller.
He noted that it is recommended that a baseline mammogram be done between the ages of 35 and 39, and annual exams from age 40. He also encouraged persons to take charge of their lives and their health and make healthy decisions.
“Make healthier choices; for example, cease smoking, which is one of the co-factors of breast cancer,” he noted.
The Health Minister described the cancer society as a “bedrock” in supporting cancer survivors and their families. He added that partnership is critical in the process, and commended Yoplait yoghurt for “playing a role in the fight against breast cancer”. He also urged other private sector firms to partner with the Society.
Chairman of the Jamaica Cancer Society, Earl Jarrett, said that awareness of the dangers of breast cancer to women at risk is critical in helping to reduce the health outcome. He encouraged persons to be aware of the measures which can be adopted including early detection, self examination, screenings and awareness.
Country Manager for General Mills, Sharon Neins, said that a minimum donation of $200,000 will be made to the society, to aid in its varied initiatives in the fight against breast cancer this year.
For over 20 years Yoplait yoghurt, a product of one the world’s leading food companies, General Mills, has been operating an international project, Save Lids to Save Lives, which donates funds from each yoghurt sold to breast cancer treatment. The project started in Jamaica in 2006 offering the Jamaica Cancer Society $6 from every Yoplait Yoghurt sold here by local distributor, Wisynco, during October. This year Yoplait will earn the Society $8 per yoghurt sold between October 1 and November 14.