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Four women hit by breast cancer each week

Anesta Henry

Four women hit by breast cancer each week

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FOUR breast cancer cases every week.
That’s the rate of detection so far this year, compared with an average of just over two a week last year.
Dr Shirley Hanoman-Jhagroo,  chairperson of the breast screening programme of the Barbados Cancer Society, disclosed this yesterday during a public breast cancer awareness promotion at Cave Shepherd, The City.
Hanoman-Jhagroo said that the number of people becoming infected with breast cancer was very high.
 “What I am finding is that women are coming forward earlier to be screened. And if they come early with the disease, they have better treatment options and their chances of survival are high,” she was.
Hanoman-Jhagroo, who is also vice-president of the Barbados Cancer Society, said 150 women were diagnosed with breast cancer last year and there were 15 recurrent cases.
Between January and August this year, 137 cases were diagnosed.
This figure was disclosed by general surgeon Selma Jackman at a discussion and exhibition on breast cancer awareness at the Christ Church Parish Church Centre.
Hanoman-Jhagroo told the media that between June 2002 when the Cancer Society started its awareness programme  July 2010, a total of 36 700 mammograms had been done.
 She described that as a “whopping amount” and said she was glad to see that society’s perception of the disease had changed over the years.
 “We are happy that many survivors are talking about the disease in public. When we started this programme, we couldn’t get anybody to talk about breast cancer. But we find now that women are coming forward to bring the awareness to other women so that they check their breasts and have things done.”
Hanoman-Jhagroo said women should not use the economic climate as an excuse for not getting screened annually, because the Cancer Society has controlled the cost.
 “We have not changed our cost. We have a digital mammography unit that is valued at $1.3 million. We have been able to continue the cost of mammograms at $80. Our objective is to make mammograms affordable to the public.”