Women, get your mammograms done after age 40, please

Women, get your mammograms done after age 40, please

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

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Jamaica Cancer Society has reiterated its call for women 40 years and older to get their mammograms done, citing concerns that only a fraction of that population is compliant.

The call was made by fund-raising and public relations officer at the Jamaica Cancer Society Shullian Brown, during this week's virtual Jamaica Observer Monday Exchange.

The entity, Brown said, conducted 8,000 mammograms last year and more than 3,000 since the start of this year, having been significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

But she has argued that the figures are disheartening.

“Now we're saying that there are over 400,000 women over the age of 40 in Jamaica. We're saying that we haven't touched the tip of the iceberg of persons who are there who might have the disease of breast cancer and not know it because breast cancer, in its initial stages, shows no symptoms. When it starts happening it's the late stage,” Brown argued.

Emphatically, she stressed that the need for women within that age group to take a call of action and get their mammograms done is great.

Breast cancer is the leading cancer among Jamaican women followed by cervical cancer.

Approximately 300 women die from the disease annually in Jamaica, according to the Jamaica Cancer Society.

“It doesn't have to be here at the cancer society. It can be any screening centre islandwide. There is just that need to get screened,” she stated, adding that the cost to treat the disease could amount to a minimum $6 million.

“A mammogram is $4,500 in comparison to $6 million and there are over 400,000 women in Jamaica over the age of 40. The time is now to take action. The time is now,” said Brown.

— Kimone Francis

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