Raise pub­lic aware­ness on can­cer

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

THE EDITOR, Sir: THERE HAVE been some very in­sight­ful ar­ti­cles in the me­dia re­cently con­cern­ing can­cer and the im­por­tance of early de­tec­tion. Dr Michael Abra­hams wrote a good piece on breast can­cer not too long ago. The Sun­day Gleaner (Novem­ber 20, 2016) also had sev­eral ar­ti­cles about can­cer, in­clud­ing one ti­tled ‘De­tect­ing can­cer early can save your lives’, as well as per­sonal sto­ries from some who have been af­fected by this dreaded dis­ease.

Be­ing a sur­vivor is one thing, but los­ing a loved one, or a young child, can be very painful over the long term. I think just about ev­ery fam­ily is af­fected some­how by can­cer. I my­self lost my beloved brother to colon can­cer. I can’t help but think how dif­fi­cult this must be for many fam­i­lies, espe­cially those cases in­volv­ing chil­dren.

I, there­fore, call on all agen­cies and news out­lets, in mem­ory of those we have lost from can­cer, to ramp up the pub­lic aware­ness on the im­por­tance of liv­ing healthy, im­prov­ing our di­ets and ex­er­cise.

We must stress the im­por­tance of mak­ing early de­tec­tion a way of life, espe­cially for those in high-risk groups. Our Gov­ern­ment must in­vest more in aware­ness and ed­u­ca­tion sur­round­ing early de­tec­tion. This must be an in­te­gral part of pub­lic-health care.

I com­mend the Ja­maica Can­cer So­ci­ety (JCS) for the work it does. Al­though the JCS has fa­cil­i­ties for breast can­cer screen­ing, we need to in­crease the num­bers of those screened. This will not only save lives, but ul­ti­mately re­duce the fi­nan­cial bur­den and cur­rent de­mands on our health sec­tor. P. CHIN chin_p@ya­hoo.com

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