Breast Cancer Month Turks and Caicos Islands 2020
“Breast in the Spotlight”
The Turks and Caicos Islands joins countries worldwide in observing Breast Cancer Awareness month during the month of October. During the month there is increased attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease.
There are about 1.38 million new cases and 458,000 deaths from breast cancer each year. Breast cancer is the most common cancer worldwide in both developed and developing countries. Therefore, raising awareness and understanding about breast cancer risks, early signs and symptoms and overall breast health is an important part of our public health approach. Most deaths occur due to late diagnosis.
Over the past five (5) years in the Turks and Caicos Islands there has been a significant increase in the number of breast cancer diagnoses totaling 122. This figure includes both males and females. From January 2020 to September 2020 there have been 7 newly diagnosed cases, this figure represents only females. The most affected age group among women is 45- 65 years of age.
The Minister of Health the Hon Edwin Astwood weighed in on the current situation and stated “I encourage every woman to know their body and know the risk factors associated with breast cancer. It is important for women to carry out breast self-examinations no matter what age you are. My Government is committed to reducing the burden of cancer and in particular breast cancer within our country”.
Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older, but breast cancer also affects younger women.(https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/breast/young_women/bringyourbrave/breast_cancer_young_women/)
- Know the symptoms- They are different in each persons and some people have no symptoms at all. Symptoms can include—
- Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
- Pain in any area of the breast
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk (including blood)
- A new lump in the breast or underarm
- If you have any signs that worry you, see your doctor right away.
The Director of Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit stated “I really would like for persons to understand that breast cancer can happen to anyone. It is paramount that early detection of the condition happens for all women regardless of their background. The activities planned I hope will be able to bring about awareness for early cancer detection not only among women but among the men as well”.
Activities for breast cancer awareness month are as follows: -
- Breast in the Spotlight Symposium 12th October at 6pm – Panelist Dr. Dingle Spence Oncologist, Jamaica, Latoya Silvera Oncology Nurse TCI Hospital, Mrs. Lakeisha Wilson Nutritionist Ministry of Health, Primary Health Care Department, Mrs. Keish Bowla-Hines, Clinical Psychologist, Jamaica, and Michelle Simmons a Survivor. This event will take place on the TCI Health Promotion and Advocacy Facebook “Live”.
- On 26th October at 6 pm join us for our “Walk in Place” session with Ryesha Higgs on Facebook Live.
- On October 29th join us for the live judging of Government Ministries for the best decorated door or hallway in observance of Breast Cancer Month. Be a part of the Facebook poll. Vote for your favorite décor.
The Minister of Health, Agriculture Sports and Human Services encourages all women to know the facts and take action.
For more information, contact the Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit on 338 2772. Visit our Facebook page and join the activities on TCI Health Promotion and Advocacy