Breast cancer awareness month a success

At least one woman who took advantage of free mammograms donated during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October is being treated after the screening test revealed she had cancer.

The Lions Club of Tropical Gardens gave out more than 600 mammograms throughout the month.

‘So far, we know of one case where an individual who received a mammogram was tested and found to have breast cancer. She is now receiving treatment,’ said Belinda Blessitt Vincent, the public relations chairperson of the club.

As well as handing out vouchers for free mammograms, throughout October the club organised and host a series of awareness raising events.

On Saturday, 31 October, the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens joined Baptist Health International to host the first Breast Cancer Survivors’ Breakfast at Hemingway Restaurant at which Chris Hubbard, international speaker and 14-year cancer survivor, shared her experiences and gave ideas on survivorship.

Other speakers included Dr. Joseph Ostroski, senior consultant liaison at Baptist Health South Florida and Dr. Robert DerHagopian surgical oncologist and medical director of the Baptist Health Breast Center within the South Miami Hospital’s campus.

Both doctors provide secondary and tertiary services to supplement and support Cayman’s medical providers.

Two breast cancer survivors won of a cruise on the Carnival Freedom which is scheduled to sail in May 2010 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Next year the Lions Club says it will sponsor four survivors to take cruises.

The winners will meet the ship courtesy of Cayman Airways who donated tickets for the winners to fly to Miami.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month kicked off with a church service at the Savannah United Church. Activities throughout the month included the traditional dress down/dress pink day, the Brenda Tibbetts Lund Memorial 5K Walk/Run and the many district awareness meetings and clinics.

New activities added this year were the call-in television programme Breast Cancer and You and the breast cancer survivors breakfast.

All events, meetings and clinics were well supported by the public. The Lions Club is reminding women who received one of the more than 600 vouchers for free 600 mammograms to make appointments at the Cayman Islands Hospital, Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital and MedLab to have their mammograms done.

Lion President Melrose Gooding said she was impressed with the success of the Club’s 12th annual Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign and that the major goal of the public becoming aware of breast cancer and early detection has been realised.

‘This year for the first time, we included students from two high schools to be part of a panel discussion which was televised and the feedback so far has been positive,’ Ms Gooding said. ‘Many lives have been touched and the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens will continue to give our support to breast cancer survivors and to bring awareness and early detection to the forefront.’

Lion Chairperson Ann Hunte thanked all the sponsors, committee members, members of the Lions family, community partners and well-wishers who supported the campaign financially and with man-hours.