It has been found that the three main cancers killing women in Guyana are Breast Cancer, Cervical Cancer, and Uterine Cancer. Other cancers such as Prostate Cancer affect men while a series of other cancers affect both genders as a result of unhealthy lifestyle practices. With this in mind, Cancer Awareness Month, October 2018, is focused on taking the campaign to stop cancers far beyond breast cancer awareness.
The Giving Hope Foundation (GHF) and the Cancer Institute of Guyana (CIG) are just two of many cancer agencies who are joining the Ministry of Public Health in pushing the campaign to stop cancers in Guyana.
At the official commencement of the month of activities hosted by the Ministry of Public Health in collaboration with other support agencies, representatives of the GHF and CIG restated their organization’s commitment to the fight against cancer.
These two entities along with the others will continue to fulfill their undertaking to provide free screening for cancers while ensuring effective referrals for treatment and further medical care.
Kirtley Williams, Vice President of the GHF, said that apart from his responsibility to the organization, he has personal sentiments for spreading cancer awareness.
“I stand resolute in the fight to bring this awareness to the nation because as one who would have lost a sister to Breast Cancer and mother to Pancreatic Cancer, I understand the pain and the suffering that we all feel sometimes.”
He added that this month has been set aside to not only raise awareness but to raise funds to continually lend support to survivors of cancer and their families while reflecting on the lives of those who lost the fight against the deadly disease.
Fiona Legall of the Cancer Institute said that her organization will partner with larger entities like the Public Health Ministry and GTT’s Pinktober campaign to spend more time educating the populace. “CIG believes with the knowledge comes empowerment, with community comes inspiration and with support comes hope.”
“This month, as we honour those whose lives were tragically cut short by breast cancer as we stand with their families, we arm ourselves with the best knowledge and resources available to fight this devastating disease and improve the quality of life of cancer survivors,” Legall added.
She indicated her joy at seeing the active involvement of many persons and organizations since “the battle against cancer cannot solely be the responsibility of the government nor should it be confined to the health care professionals.”
The wider focus that Cancer Awareness Month encourages, requires a robust collaboration of all stakeholders involved. This month, a series of activities have been planned by the ministry including cancer awareness outreaches and a cancer walk among other events.