The unveiling and launch of an ‘Avenue of Hope’ arch in downtown Georgetown brings awareness to breast cancer and the need for early testing.
The month of October is globally recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and as a result First Lady Mrs Arya Ali is making it possible for 50 women to be screened for breast cancer. The First Lady says early detection is the key to fighting the disease.
According to the Ministry of Health, Guyana is ranked highest in the Caribbean with its 46.9% breast cancer rate and a mortality rate of 21 per 100,000 persons.
The First Lady stated that data from the World Health Organisation also shows that majority of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer are from poor or developing country.
“Breast cancer statistics remain grim worldwide in 2018 nearly two million women were diagnosed with breast cancer and more than half a million died from the disease. What is worrying is that more than half or 58% of women who die from breast cancer live in poor or developing countries,” the First Lady said Thursday.
The First Lady explained that Guyana will soon be in a better financial position to support free screening for every woman at the age of 40 and above continuously. This initiative would be able to detect early signs of breast cancer and give women a better chance at fighting the disease.
“I wish to remind each of us that a Guyanese woman is a great woman. Whether she is a teacher, a nurse, a doctor, an engineer or even a stay at home mom. Let us be reminded of how great we are as women. Therefore, we must ensure we protect the life of every Guyanese woman.”
Meanwhile, founder and President of the Guyana Cancer Foundation, Bibi Hassan says she has been an advocate in the fight against breast cancer for the past 15 years and will continue to support cancer survivors. The Foundation also does medical and educational outreaches and screening.
“Our motto is to stop cancer before it starts,” Hassan said.