NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (October 07, 2021) — The following is an address by Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, Junior Minister of Health in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) on the occasion of Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2021.
Since 1985 the Month of October is being observed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and each year at this time we make a special effort to highlight the devastating impact Breast Cancer has on millions of women throughout the globe.
During this month all efforts are being made to raise awareness about Breast Cancer, the inherent risks, and early signs and symptoms of breast health.
In 2020 2.30 million women were diagnosed with Breast Cancer and approximately 685,000 deaths. This cancer is the most common cancer in women and the second leading cause of deaths in women.
Here in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis the incidence of Breast Cancer continues to increase, and younger and younger women are becoming affected. Data shows that in 2019 there were 25 new cases of
Breast Cancer and 16 new cases recorded in 2020 ranging from age 30 to 90 years old.
Studies have shown that Breast Cancer can be detected early and treated effectively. It has also shown that breast self-examination and mammograms have led to early diagnosis and effective treatment, and it is also evident that early interventions have led to a reduction in premature deaths associated with breast cancer.
The Ministry over the years has supported women by helping them to access education, screening and the support they need.
The Ministry of Health and Gender Affairs encourages you to join with us as we RISE together to help women in need. Help us to raise awareness about Breast Cancer and support women to reduce their Breast Cancer risks.
Let us encourage all women of child bearing age or who have a family history of Breast Cancer to be screened annually, but most importantly to check their breast regularly for signs of any changes.
This year Breast Cancer Awareness Month has been dubbed Pinktober. Our activities include the lighting of the Ministry of Tourism #NevisNice sign in pink. A podcast on Breast Cancer: Sexuality and Intimacy, with special guests Dr. Merisa Grant Tate and Mrs. Camara Lee-Prentice. There will also be a Workplace Lump Detection session with Dr. Essien and this will be conducted at selected business places.
It is time to RISE! We rise with the courageous women and men who have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer and are fighting this dreaded disease daily. We rise and continue fighting for a cure but most importantly let us rise and continue to fight for access to universal quality health care for all.