NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (OCTOBER 28, 2020) — Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, Junior Minister of Health in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA), believes there is merit in hosting activities to bring greater awareness and attention to the fight against breast cancer due to the serious nature of the disease and the its incidence in St. Kitts and Nevis.
The Junior Health Minister was at the time delivering remarks at a Breast Cancer Awareness Forum dubbed “In the Pink of Things” at the Nevis Performing Arts Centre on October 21, 2020. It forms part of month-long activities throughout October by the Ministry of Health. The month is celebrated on Nevis as “Breast Cancer Awareness Month” in observance of international Breast Cancer Awareness Day on October 24.
“We host these events and these activities because they are critically important in the fight against breast cancer. We do these because we want to create awareness. We want to give hope. We want to save lives. We are persistent because it is necessary due to the serious nature of this dreaded disease.
“In recent years we have seen an increase in the number of cases in our Federation and what is more alarming is that there has been an increase in the instances of breast cancer among women in their early thirties. Women, early in the prime of their lives, are being cut down with the dreaded news that ‘You have been diagnosed’ and so it is important that we continue to bring the awareness year after year.
Indeed, breast cancer is the leading type of cancer affecting women in St. Kitts and Nevis and when we consider these facts, we can clearly understand why the push for awareness, prevention and early detection must continue, and continue every year with renewed enthusiasm,” she said.
Mrs. Brandy-Williams encouraged women to be aware of the preventative measures they can take to reduce their risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer and urged men to do the same.
“We want to also encourage women to take action. Since early detection saves lives, we have to do our annual check-ups, have mammograms if necessary and examine ourselves often, and to be consistent about doing it. I want to appeal to the men as well…because even though it’s rare, we have had instances of men being diagnosed with breast cancer in the Federation. So you, too, have to be familiar with your bodies so that you can prevent such an eventuality,” she said.
The Junior Health Minister listed the measures that must be taken including keeping a healthy diet, staying physically active, and eliminating or limiting alcohol consumption.
“We need to know the signs of breast cancer so we can help ourselves and others around us to detect when something is wrong, when something is different. We have to know ourselves. Get accustomed to our bodies…Get to know what normal in your body so that when there is an abnormality, it is easy for you to detect,” she said.