MINISTER OF HEALTH ENCOURAGES BREAST SELF-EXAMS AND MAMMOGRAMS
Minister of Health, the Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett is encouraging both women and men to begin the practice of doing a monthly breast self-exam and to ensure that they schedule regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.
“According to John Hopkins Medical Centre, 40 percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump. So establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important,” said the minister, speaking at the October 15 Sitting of Parliament. “The fact therefore should encourage all of us to begin to do our monthly exams.”
Minister Byron-Nisbett said that the Ministry of Health is doing its part with its own Oncologist Dr. Marissa Grant Tate providing free breast examinations to various businesses and organizations during the month of October in a campaign dubbed “Meet the Girls.”
“We are encouraging all women to commit to regular breast exams and to get to know your girls on a more personal level,” she said. “When you get to know your girls, you are more able to quickly identify when something is not right. You would detect a lump early enough to be able to get a proper check-up or diagnosis from your doctor.”
The Health Minister is therefore encouraging as many businesses and organizations to sign up and “be certain that the women within your business and organization receive a free breast exam and learn how to perform their own self-exam.”
“I would also encourage women to visit their health centers, the ones closest to you, and meet with one of our community nurses as well who would be able to provide that self-exam and teach you more on how you will be able to perform your own self-exam at home,” she said.
Minister Byron-Nisbett said that her ministry will continue to work closely with the various cancer societies and foundations as they all work together to bring awareness to and support for breast cancer and for women and men, who are living with breast cancer.
Minister Byron’s comments come during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is celebrated from the 1st to 31st October annually. It is an annual international health campaign organized by major breast cancer charities to increase awareness of the disease and to raise funds for research into its cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and cure. The campaign also offers information and support to those affected by breast cancer.