Fri | Sep 21, 2018

Raise public awareness on cancer

Published:Tuesday | November 22, 2016 | 12:00 AM


There have been some very insightful articles in the media recently concerning cancer and the importance of early detection. Dr Michael Abrahams wrote a good piece on breast cancer not too long ago. The Sunday Gleaner (November 20, 2016) also had several articles about cancer, including one titled 'Detecting cancer early can save your lives', as well as personal stories from some who have been affected by this dreaded disease.

Being a survivor is one thing, but losing a loved one, or a young child, can be very painful over the long term. I think just about every family is affected somehow by cancer. I myself lost my beloved brother to colon cancer. I can't help but think how difficult this must be for many families, especially those cases involving children.

I, therefore, call on all agencies and news outlets, in memory of those we have lost from cancer, to ramp up the public awareness on the importance of living healthy, improving our diets and exercise.

We must stress the importance of making early detection a way of life, especially for those in high-risk groups. Our Government must invest more in awareness and education surrounding early detection. This must be an integral part of public-health care.

I commend the Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS) for the work it does. Although the JCS has facilities for breast cancer screening, we need to increase the numbers of those screened. This will not only save lives, but ultimately reduce the financial burden and current demands on our health sector.