Almost 300 screened for breast cancer

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Education and self-awareness are said to be the driving forces behind the increased number of women and men who showed up for the free breast cancer screening offered at the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre.
Gisel Joshua, immediate past president of Breast Friends told OBSERVER media that 289 patients, including two men, were screened.
That figure represents an increase from the almost 180 total screened last year.
“I hope the message gets out that men do get breast cancer. I am happy with the turnout which is telling us that people are listening to us, people are listening to their bodies, people are observing their bodies and realising how important it is to be screened, and if you feel something, see something, then you do something,” Joshua said.
She warned that cancer does not discriminate, nor does pain suggest early stages of cancer. Joshua lamented that pain associated with cancer means that the patient is already in the “danger zone,” hence the reason why regular screening is advisable.
“Fear is not going to help you because if you become afraid of the unknown because you assume it is just that, or even if you get a diagnosis so you are afraid of doing anything, the cancer is not afraid; it is going to move on. Too many people are coming down at a late stage where much cannot be done and you are then given palliative care,” she stated.
Joshua is a part of a community of networking people aiming to provide the best breast cancer care, diagnosis and treatment to anyone.
She said the team is committed to getting anyone the immediate attention they need should they be concerned about breast cancer, and Breast Friends is easily accessible.
On Saturday morning, both men and women went to the hospital, starting before 6:30 a.m. to be screened.
Joshua said that while it was a wait for some, because there were patients who needed additional attention, with seven being referred for immediate mammograms or ultrasounds, the patients were kept engaged throughout.
“We fed them, we kept them entertained with videos and trivia games so it wasn’t boring, the process may have been a little long because some patients we had to stay a little longer with, but we had a good batch of doctors, students from the American University of Antigua who helped out, Breast Friends and Lions,” she said.

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