The Women’s Ministries Department kick-started Breast Cancer Awareness Month with its 4th Annual ‘Save -Your-Breast’ Symposium on Sunday, October 3, 2021, at the Seventh-day Adventist Conference Centre, Montego Bay. Breast Cancer Awareness Month is observed in October each year in countries across the world to increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment of this disease.
Those in attendance benefited from presentations from experts on the matter of Breast Cancer prevention and treatment.
According to General Practitioner, Dr. Douglas Street, it is estimated that 43 out of every 100,000 women in Jamaica develop Breast Cancer, hence the importance of addressing the risk factors and getting screened for the disease.
“I encourage you to take this advice and improve your health so you can enjoy a long life. Practicing good eating habits, exercising and staying at a healthy weight can help to lower your risk of Breast Cancer. However, this is not a guarantee that you won’t get the disease. Screening is also an important secondary preventative measure; breast examinations ad Mammograms must be done”, he said.
In his presentation, International singer, CEO of the Adventist Gospel Music Association and Breast Cancer survivor Claude Edwards, noted that many people fail to understand the importance of knowledge and faith in the fight against Cancer.
“The answer to eradicating Cancer is not through medication, but through intentional and resourceful information and education. You have to examine your lifestyle and your environment, identify risk factors and work to lower your exposure to them.”
Edwards, who had to undergo surgery to treat his Cancer, acknowledged the Lord for allowing him to win his fight against the deadly disease.
“The Lord was with me and my surgery was successful and I got through it because of God’s grace.
In her testimony, Breast Cancer survivor and Author of “Smiling Through Breast Cancer” Yvonne Dunkley, pointed out that she never lost hope during her battle with Cancer.
‘I had 35 sessions of radiation and I have been suffering from side effects for 11 years. However, through it all, I knew that God had already prepared a way out for me and I only needed to trust in Him.”
Carol Smythe-James, Women Ministries Director of West Jamaica Conference, expressed her satisfaction with the value of the information that was shared during the program.
“We have been doing this programme for 4 years now and despite the effects of the pandemic, I’m happy that we were able to continue a campaign of this nature to spread awareness about Breast Cancer”, she said. “I really want to thank all the presenters and those who were instrumental in making this programme possible. I believe the symposium would have helped men and women to see the importance of taking care of their breasts,” added James.
The programme was aired live on YouTube and received over 4,500 views.