The Lions Club of Tropical Gardens’ launch of its eighth annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month was an intimate but inspirational affair.
A small group of women and a few men gathered at Heroes Square on Thursday, 3 February, for the occasion, which was planned for October 2004 but was delayed because of Hurricane Ivan.
Speaker of the House Linford Pierson, Minister of Heath Gilbert McLean, Minister of Gender Affairs Dr. Frank McField, MLAs Alden McLaughlin and Anthony Eden were also present.
LCTG’s president Dorothy Davis announced the theme for this year’s Cancer Awareness Month is ‘Mother, daughter, friend or wife, make early detection a habit for life’.
‘Our aim this year is to make the community aware of the importance of family support when your loved one is diagnosed with breast cancer,’ Mrs. Davis said.
She said the Club is especially encouraging male partners and relatives to attend the awareness meetings.
‘The meetings are not just for women. By attending these meetings you will become aware of the emotional, mental and physical impacts that this disease can have on women. It will also prepare you all on how to take a more supportive role with your wives, mothers, partners, daughters and other loved ones,’ she said.
She also encouraged husbands and partners to remind their wives and loved ones to do monthly breast exams.
She said that over the course of the month the Club would be handing out 500 coupons for free mammograms.
Mr. McLean said breast cancer is an issue for every woman. ‘Simply being a woman puts a person at risk for developing breast cancer and the risk increases with age.’
‘In the early 70s it was estimated that one out of every 10 women would be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Now it is estimated that one out of seven will be diagnosed as such,’ Mr. McLean said.
Mr. McLean said men should also be aware they are not immune from breast cancer.
Dr. McField praised the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens for its involvement with the community and encouraged women to take time out for themselves.
‘We suspect that many women have been neglecting their health while trying to repair homes and deal with other problems caused by the hurricane. We must take every opportunity to detox our bodies.’
Dr. McField said he considers cancer survivors heroes and said the event was a good time to recognise them.