WOMEN 40 and over have been urged to get annual mammogram tests as early detection could greatly improve the survival rate from breast cancer.
Making the call at the sixth annual CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank “Walk For the Cure”, according to a recent release, radiologist Dr Derria Cornwall warned those avoiding mammograms because of the discomfort experienced that “the squeeze of a mammogram is less than the squeeze of cancer”.
While commending the participants of Walk for the Cure, which annually provides funds to the Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS) for their education and treatment programmes, Dr Cornwall said “one one-off 5K for the year is not enough exercise for you”.
She said that everyone should do some form of exercise daily, including walking, jogging, dancing, and eating a balanced diet.
The radiologist also advised: “Stay away from alcohol and cigarettes as the risk of breast cancer increases with alcohol use and smoking.”
One of the myths which give people a false sense of complacency, Dr Cornwall said, is the notion that because they have no history of cancer in their family they are not at risk.
“This is a false assumption. Only 15 per cent of persons with breast cancer have had a family history of breast cancer — everybody is at risk”, she asserted.
She said that one in 21 women in Jamaica are projected to get breast cancer and one in 3,333 men.
Hence her appeal to women: “Get your mammograms done. A mammogram can detect cancer even before you can even feel it. So join the mammo party — you don't need a ticket. Just take yourself to the doctor”.
Since 2012, CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank has hosted “Walk For The Cure” in Jamaica and the other 16 Caribbean territories in which the bank operates, with funds raised benefiting the cancer societies in each.
The walk coincides with “Run For The Cure” in Canada, hosted by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and sponsored by CIBC.