Acting Minister of Health, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner. (FP)??

Breast cancer continues to be the leading cancer-causing death in Barbadian women.

Acting Minister of Health, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, made this disclosure today, during the launch of a week of activities at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Barbados Cancer Society’s Breast Screening Programme next month.

Senator Sandiford-Garner told those gathered that approximately 50 women died from the disease annually. However, she said that because of early detection and good treatment regimes, like those provided by the Breast Screening Programme, the World Health Organization (WHO) had reported that 89 per cent of women diagnosed with breast cancer in Western countries were still alive, five years after their diagnosis.

She added that chronic diseases, including all types of cancers, were the leading causes of mortality globally, representing 63 per cent of all deaths. A new status report from the WHO, the Senator noted, indicated that these diseases were on the rise and were taking a significant toll on the economies of low and middle income countries like Barbados. She added that they were considered the number one killers today "above HIV, AIDS and Tuberculosis and, therefore, they pose a significant threat to our health economies".

She said the Ministry of Health remained cognisant of the need to work with non-governmental organisations to advance quality health care for all citizens.

"Our relationship with the Barbados Cancer Society’s Breast Screening Programme has been a satisfying and rewarding one which has redounded to the overall benefit of the citizens of Barbados. I, therefore, take this opportunity to thank them for their vital work and assistance in the efforts to reduce the incidence of cancer mortality in Barbados. I would like to impress upon all Barbadians the importance of early detection which, as mentioned before, can save lives. So, take charge of your health for, ultimately, the decision is in your hands," Senator Sandiford-Garner advised.

She also encouraged the business sector to get on board with the Barbados Cancer Society’s ???Go Pink Barbados’ day on Friday, June 15, where everyone is being urged to wear pink.

"So, to corporate Barbados, I encourage you to support "Go Pink Barbados" and request that your workers do the same by wearing pink on that day," she underlined.


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