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National Cancer Society hosts awareness march

National Cancer Society hosts awareness march

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While political rallies had massive crowds over the weekend, the effort to make the public more aware of cancer, particularly breast cancer, was taken on with as much force by members of the National Cancer Society, but with little show of public support.

Despite the meagre turn out, the small but committed group on Sunday, October 2, marched from the Peace Memorial Hall, around Kingstown and then converged at Heritage Square for a rally. {{more}}

Breast cancer survivor and president of the Cancer Society Joy Cato shared her personal experience of living with the disease and empathised with those who were suffering. Cato also confessed that her experience with cancer helped her to have a sharper, more positive, focused outlook on life, which included the blessings of family and friends.

She explained that after she was diagnosed and overcame that period in her life, she now celebrates two birthdays every year, her natural birth and the day she conquered the disease.

The vibrant president emphasised that cancer sufferers must not view their diagnosis as a death sentence, since treatment is available for the disease. The president noted that the Cancer Society will initiate a fun walk which will be more lively than the solemn vigil.

Stressing the need for prevention was Dr. Sherian Slater who urged women to get their Pap smears to detect any abnormal cells at the mouth of the womb. She stressed that once this was done, women could be treated to correct any abnormal cells detected. The gynaecologist noted that the leading cause of death in women was breast cancer, followed by cancer of the cervix, and recommended that once females started having sex, they should start having their Pap smears.

Sounding a warning to men to get themselves checked was urologist Dr. Rohan DeShong who noted that sometimes the cancer goes undetected until a lump is found or a test is carried out. Cautioning the men, he emphasised that once a man is over 40 years he should get his prostate checked, and pleaded with women to encourage men to check their health since men were afraid of doctors.

The theme for the month is, “Protecting and healing through education, care and support.”

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