Cancer Society aims to save lives with early diagnosis
In an effort to improve and ensure early diagnosis of breast cancer, the Guyana Cancer Society, a non-governmental organisation, is encouraging women over 40 to get a mammogram.
The organisation on Wednesday brought eleven women from Matthew’s Ridge in Region One to Georgetown to get their breast exams done free of cost.
Stacy Garraway, a 49-year-old mother of three got her first mammogram on Wednesday.
“We never had any opportunity like this, this is the first time and we hope it could continue,” Garraway stated.
During a recent medical outreach in the community, the Cancer Society recognised the need for women in remote areas to have access to such services.
“I want to thank the Guyana cancer society for this opportunity, where not only I can come but other colleagues from Matthew’s Ridge. I hope we can get other things done like pap smears in the area,” Stacy Shelto, a health worker and mother of two told the News Room.
For Garraway, it was the lump she feels in her breast from time to time that prompted her to do a checkup during the outreach last week.
Shelto added that she felt a tingling in her breast about seven years ago but when she did a mammogram at the Georgetown Public Hospital, they told her everything was fine.
“So, this was a good opportunity for me to come back and check it out,” Shelto said.
Shelto has been a health worker for decades and has seen firsthand the fatal consequences of late screening and diagnosis.
“I think we need like some workshops, telling people about breast cancer and if you can get some demonstration where you can do like breast examination, if they see something different in their breast they can be able to identify it,” Shelto explained.
The Cancer Society was launched earlier in March this year with a vision to not only promote screening and awareness for breast cancer but all cancers in Guyana.
“At the Guyana Cancer Society we have collaborated with Global Imaging here at Mercy Hospital and we are providing mammograms at a reduced cost, 100 mammograms in the month of October and eligibility includes any woman above the age of 40,” Dr Ejaz Hatim, a representative from the organisation told the News Room.
“The recommended age to actually do screening varies but at 50 every woman should have a mammogram once every two years some of the guidelines have stated you can do it above the age of 40 and 45 and you can do it on a case-by-case basis,” Dr Hatim added.
Meanwhile, the Cancer Society has also pledged to offer support to women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.
“If they have anything abnormal we will be referring them to our specialist service care whether it is consultations from the doctors on our board or Georgetown Hospital, we will be appropriately referring them for specialist care,” Dr Hatim stated.