With over 100 persons found with breast cancer in 2019, the Cancer Institute of Guyana is urging more men and women to conduct urgent screening.
The institute is also encouraging companies to get on board and sponsor mammograms, pap smears and ultrasounds.
At a press conference held at the institute’s building located in the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation’s (GPHC) compound, Radiation Oncologist, Dr Sayan Chakraborty said there has been 110 cases of breast cancer recorded by the institute for the year 2019 thus far.
In 2018, the institute treated 273 cancer cases and 300 in 2017; Dr Chakraborty could not tell how many of those cases were of breast cancer.
He said one of the challenges is getting persons to conduct screening.
“Until and unless the awareness, the screening and the diagnosis is done, if you’re just sitting at home, it’s not going to help anyone of us,” Dr Sayan Chakraborty said.
Director of Outreaches at the Institute, Dr Sayed Ghazi stated the too many women, after noticing signs of breast cancer, avoid the doctor’s visit to cater to their families.
“What we see here is a lot of times, the women would not report it or go to the doctor. Some women do not go because they have a family and they have these expenses…they tend to sacrifice their life for their family,” Dr Ghazi noted.
Breast cancer is found to be the most common in Guyanese women.
Symptoms include a lump or mass in the breast tissue and other feelings of discomfort which may vary.
The Institute launched its activities for Breast Cancer Awareness Month which will be observed in October.
The Institute will be offering discounts on mammograms, pap smears and ultrasounds during this month.
While the doctors are encouraging persons to get tested, they are also calling on sponsors to contribute to the efforts of the institute.
Dr Ghazi explained that “If X company or Y company says I want to sponsor 100 pap smears…of course, we try to approach them before the month start. As many sponsors we get…once we start and people donate, we complete our target.”
The sponsorship will help to accommodate more discounts and even free tests for patients who cannot afford it.
Guyana Beverage Inc. is the first company to donate to the cause.
Under its Oasis Premium Purified Waters, the company is sponsoring the annual Awareness Walk slated for October 20.
The company has branded its Oasis Premium Purified Waters with a pink label and the company will be donating a percentage of the revenue from every bottle sold, to the Cancer Institute.
The Cancer Institute will also be holding a candlelight vigil on October 25.