Free radiation therapy, mammograms for women through $5M donation to Cancer Foundation

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Medically uninsured and low-income women will now have greater access to free radiation therapy and mammograms services made possible through a $5 million donation made to the Guyana Cancer Foundation by Edward B. Beharry Group and Company Limited.

The donation also coincides with Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021 which is being celebrated under the theme ‘Buddy Up For Breast Health’ – aimed at encouraging women and the community to support each other.

The donation was prompted by the Company’s Marketing Manager, Anjuli Beharry Strand’s own journey with breast cancer.

At the simple handing over ceremony on Friday, Strand pointed out that the initiative by the Cancer Foundation of providing free screenings to women is one that is dear to her heart, as it was early detection that saved her life.

“It makes me very proud and happy to know that women will benefit from this screening as early detection is the key.

“It saved my life and it will save the lives of other women,” she remarked.

Statistics from the American Cancer Society also support this, showing that when breast cancer is detected early, and is in the localized stage, the five-year relative survival rate is 99%.

And early detection includes doing monthly breast self-exams and scheduling regular clinical breast exams and mammograms. The Marketing Manager recalled that she first found a lump in her left breast while doing a self-breast exam.

After a check-up and subsequent examination, doctors confirmed that she had stage one breast cancer but she did not lose hope.

“I have no history of any kind of cancer, breast cancer in my family and my daughter was not even one yet.

“I had both of my breasts removed and I had four months of chemotherapy and it took a long time to heal, mentally, emotionally, but I will say that because I have always checked my breasts, I was able to find the lump.

“I encourage women everywhere to learn to love and get to know their breasts because if you do that, you will be able to pick up an abnormality in your breast and get it checked before it has an opportunity to spread to the rest of your body,” Strand encouraged.

Meanwhile, President and Founder of the Guyana Cancer Foundation, Bibi Saeedah Akhtar Hassan expressed gratitude for the company’s effort and contribution, noting that the fight against cancer is made a little easier with companies join the fight.

Hassan explained that the Foundation has teamed up with the Dr. Balwant Singh Hospital to roll out the free services; the free exams can commence as soon as Tuesday.

Further, she said a list of activities to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness will be published soon.  Persons who are interested in accessing the free services can contact the Cancer Foundation on 618-2085 for more details.

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