Mammogram campaign hits target

The Cayman Islands Cancer Society announced to media last week that it had reached its goal of raising US$300,000 to purchase a digital mammography system.

The Cancer Society contributed $100,000 from its reserve fund and raised $300,000 from the community in donations.

The machine will arrive some time in September or October and will be then donated to the Cayman Islands Hospital, said a CICS press release.

The Society launched its Women Helping Women Memorial Fund on 13 December 2005 to raise funds to purchase the machine.

In addition, the Society pledged $100,000 of its reserve funds to the project as well as the income from its 2006 Stride Against Cancer.

The original goal was to raise $200,000 within a year and the figure was increased to $300,000 as the costs for the different systems became apparent.

The entire community rallied behind the project and the funds have been raised much sooner than anticipated, the release said.

One of the last big donations was from Peter Kandiah, a retired attorney in Cayman. He made the donation in memory of his dear friend and former Cayman resident Margaret Roberts who died of breast cancer some years ago.

‘When the initiative was launched last December, Dr. Sook Yin and I wished to have the funds raised in six months,’ commented Christine Sanders, General Manager of the Cayman Islands Cancer Society. ‘We are delighted that we were successful in achieving this goal.’

Systems from three companies have been considered and the Hologic Lorad Selenia System has been selected as the best system to meet the needs of Cayman’s community.

The Cancer Society would like to thank all the companies and individuals that donated to the fund, including the SAAD group of companies that donated CI$50,000 to the fund.

Digital mammography is a state-of-the-art technology that offers several advantages over traditional analogue mammography, especially for women with dense breast tissue.

Advantages for all women include the rapid availability of the image which helps to minimise anxiety.

There is also the ability to alter the contrast and brightness of the image as well as to enlarge specific areas of breast tissue on the image. In addition to being read by a radiologist, the image is also read by the computer and this can signal a flag to the radiologist for further investigation. The image can also be transmitted electronically for reading by an off-site radiologist.

The Women Helping Women Memorial Fund will remain open for donations. The funds will be used for purchasing additional pieces of equipment used for the screening, detection and treatment of cancer and/or for expenses related to the use of the mammography unit.

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