The Barbados Cancer Society’s Breast Screening Programme is reporting a decline in the number of women being diagnosed with breast cancer over the last three years.
Medical Coordinator with the programme, Dr Shirley Hanoman-Jhagroo has attributed that, in part, to the current economic situation which has caused some women to focus on other priorities rather than their health.
Speaking at the launch of the 2017 CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank’s Walk for the Cure at Sugar Bay Hotel, Dr Jhagroo said: “In June 2016, we had 59 new cases diagnosed; in 2013 it was 28; and between June 2016 and June 2017, we saw 28 new positive cases, because we had fewer people attending our clinic.”
She noted that the funds raised through the walk last year were used to purchase equipment which has made the reporting and recording of mammogram results more efficient.
This year, however, they will be assisting women who are finding it hard to meet the costs associated with the mammograms.
“We will subsidize mammograms and breast biopsies for early detection. We have done this in the past, but because of the present economic situation more people have put their financial priorities elsewhere, so we are going to help them with that.”
Meanwhile, Treasurer at CIBC FirstCaribbean, Krystle Maynard, who is also the bank’s Walk Manager for Barbados, said this year the bank expected to surpass the numbers it recorded in 2016.
“Our target for 2016 in Barbados was $100,000, and we were able to present a cheque [for] $233,000 to the Barbados Cancer Society. So far this year, our fundraising efforts have raised $130,000, and we still have more time to go. We had 10,000 people walking last year and expect a greater turnout this year as well,” she said.
Office Manager for the Breast Screening Programme at the Cancer Society, Monique Hinds, outlined some of the activities that will take place during October, which is designated Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“This year, the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) will be emphasizing breast cancer awareness in its Q in the Community shows during the month; and on October 14, the Girl Guides along with the Barbados Defence Force will be going through Bridgetown collecting funds as well as distributing information. Between October 8 and 14, our volunteers will be at supermarkets, malls and other public places distributing pink ribbons and collecting donations.”
The Breast Screening Programme is celebrating 15 years of existence, and in that time it has performed mammograms on about 75,000 women.
This year’s Walk for the Cure takes place on October 1 at 3 p.m., and will comprise three events. There will be a 10K run from the bank’s Warrens headquarters to the Norman Niles Roundabout and back, finishing between Sol, Warrens and Chefette,Warrens. A 5K run and 5K walk will go from Warrens, through Husbands and Clermont, and finish between the Sol gas station and Chefette’s Warrens branch.
After show entertainment will feature performances from a number of leading entertainers, including Shaquille, TC and Red Plastic Bag.