Health Ministry advises yearly mammograms, monthly breast self-checksThursday, October 14, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica --- The Ministry of Health and Wellness is encouraging women to do yearly mammograms and regular self-checks to ensure early detection of breast cancer.
Programme Development Officer in the Ministry's Non-Communicable Disease and Injuries Prevention Unit, Dr Cathi-Ann Williams, said that mammograms should start at age 40.
She also urged women to do monthly breast self-examinations.
“Should they find an abnormality, a lump, or abnormal discharge from the nipple, redness or swelling of the area, they should reach out to their doctor or health centre and get a clinical examination, and any other necessary investigation,” she advised.
The Ministry has produced guidelines and videos on how to do the self-examination, which can be found at www.moh.gov.jm.
Noting that breast cancer is the leading cancer affecting women in Jamaica, Williams said early detection can save lives and reduce stress and trauma.
October is being observed as Breast Cancer Month, and the Ministry is spearheading several activities to increase awareness of the disease and how persons can reduce their risk. Key among them are virtual discussions taking place via the Ministry's social media platforms.
Noting that one per cent of breast cancer cases involve men, Williams said a special discourse for men will be a part of the virtual discussions. She pointed out that men too should be looking out for lumps and other symptoms and seek medical attention where necessary.
Men will also be a part of discussions on how to offer support to their spouses post mastectomy.
In partnership with the Jamaica Cancer Society, the Ministry is encouraging the wearing of pink on Fridays, throughout October.