JIS News

Clinical Haemotologist and Oncologist, Dr. Angela Scott, is imploring all women, particularly those over age 40, to have regular breast examinations, in order to detect breast cancer early and improve their chance of surviving the disease.
She pointed out that one in every 25 Jamaican women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime.
Speaking yesterday (October 6), at a JIS Think Tank, at the agency’s Kingston headquarters, held to publicise the activities planned by the Jamaica Cancer Society to observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October), Dr. Scott said that according to established research, last conducted in 2002, the incidence of breast cancer among Jamaican women was at 40 per 100,000 of the population.
“Not every woman will present in the same way, not every woman will have the same type of breast cancer. However, the common thread to all types of breast cancer is that early detection significantly impacts on a positive outcome in relation to survival goals,” she said.
Bemoaning the unacceptably high number of women who are presented with the disease in its advanced stages, Dr. Scott urged females to be vigilant in their approach to finding out if they have the disease, through monthly self examinations, visits to the doctor or doing the mammogram test.
Registering her support for the 2009 Breast Cancer Month theme – ‘Early Detection: Your Best Defence in the Fight Against Breast Cancer’ – Dr. Scott pointed out that women should begin to perform breast self examinations as early as their teenage years, in order to detect any suspicious abnormalities, so they can consult a physician.
“It cannot be overstated that breast self examination is key to assisting with early detection. No one knows the breast better than the woman herself,” she said.
Dr. Scott also sought to allay the fears of women who are reluctant to perform the relevant examinations. She informed that most evaluations for the disease usually turn out to be non-cancerous. “Three out of every four lumps we evaluate turn out not to be cancer. But, should it be cancerous, early detection is important in terms of making the outcome good,” she pointed out.
“Breast cancer is not a death sentence. It is important that we detect the condition early, so that the outcome can be favourable,” she added.
Major activities planned by the Jamaica Cancer Society for Breast Cancer Month include: Survivor Makeovers at the Leon’s School of Beauty, at 7 Lady Musgrave Road in Kingston, from October 5-7; the Yoplait Yogurt’s sponsored ‘Aerobics in the Park’, to be held every Tuesday in October, from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. in Emancipation Park; the annual ‘Keeping Abreast’ Luncheon on October 22 at the Pegasus Hotel; a Breast Cancer Forum, which will be held at Stephanie Hall on October 25; and the Dr. Denise Thwaites 5K walk/run on October 31.

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