More young women with breast cancer
The number of young women in Barbados being diagnosed with breast cancer is increasing, while more women are surviving because of early detection of the disease.
Making this disclosure yesterday, medical co-ordinator of the Barbados Cancer Society’s Breast Screening Programme, Dr Shirley Jhagroo, said more women below 40 and, significantly, women in their late 20s, were being diagnosed with breast cancer, though the highest incidence of the disease remained among women in the 50-65 age group.
Jhagroo stressed that early detection increased the chances of survival, adding that men were also beginning to respond to education on breast cancer, though the incidence among them remained very low.
“We have had a very good response from men over the last three years . . . . We found that men are asking questions,” Jhagroo reported, though she said less than one per cent had been diagnosed with this specific cancer.
The Barbados Cancer Society has been taking its public education across Barbados during Breast Cancer Month, during which the breast screening programme is being highlighted. The focus this week has been on Pink Ribbon Week, with pink ribbons being distributed throughout the island.
Speaking at Cave Shepherd’s department store on Broad Street yesterday, Jhagroo told of a new approach which she anticipated would boost early detection methods. Personalities such as former Deputy Prime Minister Dame Billie Miller, president of the National Organization of Women Marilyn Rice-Bowen and Minister of Labour and former Minister of Health Dr Esther Byer Suckoo joined Jhagroo and others in the distribution of ribbons and talked to shoppers about breast cancer.
Jhagroo disclosed the Breast Screening Programme had acquired a new ultrasound machine costing almost $300 000. It was also bringing in an interventional radiologist, Dr Fidel Rampersad, for a one-day clinic to demonstrate its use.
The specialist, whose interest is in breast abnormalities, would be doing ultra-sound-directed biopsies, which would enable breast cancer victims to benefit from early detection through having both the mammogram and the ultra-sound when necessary. (GC)