Cancer patient says early detection is key

By Ministry of Health

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(PRESS RELEASE) – The Ministry of Health and Wellness is implementing creative strategies to sensitize the public on the importance of early detection.

Breast Cancer continues to be one of the most dominant illnesses among women today. Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts in the cells of the breast and can affect both men and women. As Saint Lucia observes Cancer awareness month Dr. Vasantha Chase, a cancer patient, took the opportunity to encourage men and women to get tested as early detection provides the best protection.

“I feel very well and I feel that the journey has been a journey with a number of challenges but it has been a journey which has brought me to where I now feel that I need to share my story with other women who are out there about the need to make sure that they test themselves, that they always do the necessary screening and if breast cancer is discovered, that it is not a death toll. You can do all that is necessary, working very closely with your surgeon, your oncologist and other care providers to come out of this stronger than you went into it.”

Dr. Chase stressed on the importance of conducting periodical health examinations.

“Many women that I have been talking to are concerned or afraid of the pain that the mammogram brings but I mean if it’s a pain for thirty seconds and your life is much more important then you bare the pain. But I would like to use this opportunity to really impress upon women especially those who are over forty years of age to do their mammogram and for those who are below forty years of age and even those who are after forty years of age to make sure that you do your self-examinations. If you don’t know how to do a self-examination your doctor will show you how to do it or there are so many YouTube videos that would show you how to do a self-examination. Self-examinations are very important. My husband use to do examinations on me every month. He did an examination in September, I found what I call a seed in October. So even with this regular examinations I did not know that something was happening in my breasts until I felt it, so I really implore all women to make sure they take care of themselves and do the necessary self-examinations.”

She said, there are other risk factors which women and men should try to reduce.

“Doctors will tell you to curb on the drinking, exercise regularly, to be very careful of the kinds of foods that’s you eat and as someone who really did not pay much attention to all of that in terms of exercise and food, just normal habits I can now tell you that these things are very important. Sugar! Sugar is cancer’s number one enemy and how we control the consumption of sugar and how we also control the consumption of sugar of our children and our grandchildren is also very important.”

The Ministry of Health continues to work tirelessly with the aim of curbing this epidemic. Cancer awareness month is being observed under the theme “Be a Breast Friend Early Detection for Your Protection”.

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