Health ministry pushes for more cancer screeningThursday, January 28, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Health and Wellness has partnered with several organisations to offer free screening or screening at discounted rates as it recognises World Cancer Day on Thursday, February 4.
The ministry has partnered with The Woman's Place, Apex Radiology, Radiology West and the Jamaica Cancer Society to offer islandwide screening at discounted rates while the Jamaica Cancer Society, will be providing a total of 60 free screening places (mammogram & pap smears) to individuals referred by public health centres.
The ministry said it has planned a series of public education activities and virtual events under the global theme, 'Together, all our actions matter- I Am and I Will' in observation of the day. The scheduled activities will see intense focus on cancer awareness, prevention, control and create opportunities to sound a clarion cry for screening.
Noting that screening is the best way to identify cancer in its earliest stages, the ministry said screening outreach will form a central part of this year's commemoration of World Cancer Day.
“In response to the fear factor as a cause for delaying screening we are widening our channels of communication in order to have conversations with persons to provide more information and try to allay their fears,” Dr Nicola Skyers, acting director in the Non-Communicable Disease and Injury Prevention Unit at the ministry said.
“Facing fears of potential cancers is difficult, but it's important to do. It's the best way to take care of your body and yourself. If you don't have cancer, the news will be encouraging. If you do, learning about your cancer may be disheartening, but it's the first step to treating and overcoming the cancer,” Dr Skyers continued.
Medical physicist in the ministry, Sanchez Palmer, also highlighted that, “Each type of cancer has its own screening tests. Some types of cancer currently do not have an effective screening method. Developing new cancer screening tests is an area of active research.”
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