Crowds turn out for cancer fair

The Cayman Islands Society hosted a Conquering Cancer health fair Saturday to help raise awareness of the disease and encourage the public to take proactive measures to combat it. 

Hundreds of people passed through the doors of the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort Orchid Ballroom to enjoy a day with a serious purpose, that still included fun and entertainment. The health fair drew local practitioners, nutritionists and cancer specialists from Cayman, as well as professionals from nine overseas medical institutions, including Johns Hopkins and Holy Cross Hospital. 

More than 170 people signed up to get screened for diabetes and cholesterol, Dr. Sook Yin, Medical Director of the Cayman Islands Cancer Society said. She said such screenings were extremely necessary in Cayman. 

“This is the biggest [Conquering Cancer event] one so far,” she said. “The turnout has really bumped up a lot from when we first started the fair. The people are not turning up just for free screenings, they are hungry for knowledge about cancer and … other health issues.” 

This is the fourth time the event has been held.
“We have overseas specialists and local practitioners giving lectures on how to prevent cancer, what to do in certain types of cancer, and also there [is new research] that can [tell] how cancer can develop,” Dr. Yin added. 

She also highlighted that cancer fairs like this enable medical practitioners to meet members of the public, including those who may not have the chance to see a doctor, might not have insurance or are simply too scared of what they might find out. 

The public took advantage of the opportunity to meet specialists so they could find out more about the risks of cancer, as well as proactive ways to avoid the disease. 

A wide range of cancers were covered at the event, including colon, ovarian, gynecological, breast, bladder, prostate, lung, and head an neck cancers. Attendees could speak with doctors one-on-one, and for the first time, visitors got the opportunity to sign up to a bone marrow register for the Caribbean. 

To add to the day of awareness and education, visitors also visited nutritionist stalls to be educated on healthy foods to eat. Making her way around the room with other doctors, Dr. Yin asked visitors about various ailments, got feedback and directed them to stations to be checked. 

“The fair provided a social surrounding of nonthreatening ways to get screened, that you don’t have to go to [a] clinic to sit and wait,” she said. 

Katie Russell gives a swab for the bone marrow data bank.

Katie Russell gives a swab for the bone marrow data bank.

Ludlow Buckeridge gets valuable tips from nutritionist Kristin Lamos.

Ludlow Buckeridge gets valuable tips from nutritionist Kristin Lamos.

From left, Brennita Palmer, Samantha Rea and Dr. Sook Yin highlight the dangers of too much sugar at the Conquering Cancer health fair at the Marriott Beach Resort on Saturday. – Photos: Jewel Levy

From left, Brennita Palmer, Samantha Rea and Dr. Sook Yin highlight the dangers of too much sugar at the Conquering Cancer health fair at the Marriott Beach Resort on Saturday. – Photos: Jewel Levy
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