Breast Cancer screening being advocated
DPI, Guyana, Thursday, October 05, 2017
Even as Guyana continues to observe Cancer Awareness Month 2017, there is continued advocacy for screening. It is now public knowledge that breast cancer can affect both men and women, but the latter is most affected by this non- communicable disease.
For this reason, intensified screening efforts are scheduled to take place during the month of October. Areas earmarked for Breast Cancer outreaches include Linden, Supernaam and Skeldon. Meanwhile, screening is available year-round at the Oncology unit at the Georgetown Public Hospital.
Local oncologist, Dr. Latoya Gooding, who also works with this unit has found that Breast Cancer now affects younger women. “Long ago, Breast Cancer was something of elderly women but what we are finding now is more and more younger women are being diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Breast Cancer, its easily detected it is one that can have a higher cure rate once it’s detected early so that is why we advocate for early detection.”
The Doctor explained, “Screening is available here in Guyana, however, it’s being done on a public-private level here the NGOs work along with the Ministry of Public Health. For example, the Giving Hope Foundation does monthly outreaches and one of our biggest targets during these outreaches is breast cancer.”
She also added that the Guyana situation shows that the East Indian and African ethnicities are more at risk of developing Breast Cancer. Other risk factors include “your age, as you develop in age your risk factor increases to develop Breast Cancer, women over forty years at a higher risk factor. Once you had your very first period before age 12 and if you reach menopause after 55 you’re also at risk,’ Dr. Gooding explained.
The reason for this is that the woman’s body is exposed to a prolonged period of estrogen. Other risk factors include trauma to the breast and smoking. Risks of the cancer can also be linked to the number of children a woman may have breastfed.
Dr. Gooding said, “the more children you make and they are breastfed for at least one year that decreases your risk for breast cancer against if you make just one or no children at all it increases your risk.”
Women who think they may have Breast Cancer must take advantage of the screening exercises. More specifically, during this month, women can take advantage of the numerous breast cancer outreaches which will be hosted by the Public Health Ministry, NGOs and other agencies.
By: Delicia Haynes