Breast cancer: Health Minister Byron-Nisbett underscores importance of self-exams

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BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, October 31, 2020 (MMS-SKN) — Minister of Health the Hon Akilah Byron-Nisbett, while underscoring the importance of self-examinations, has made a passionate appeal to the general public that awareness on breast cancer should not end at the end of October which is observed as the Breast Cancer Awareness month.

“Today we walked with the Essence of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation as they bring a close to their activities for Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2020,” said the Hon Byron-Nisbett on Saturday October 31 at the Frigate Bay lawns at the end of the 2020 edition of Pink Walk held under the theme ‘Mask Up While We Unmask Breast Cancer’ which had started at the parking lots of Caribbean Cinemas in West Basseterre.

Hon Byron-Nisbett, who walked all the way braving unexpected brief showers along the way, observed that October was packed with activities, especially as it related to Essence of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation, noting that she had participated in a panel discussion with them on ZIZ as they brought awareness on breast cancer.

“As the Minister of Health, as I have been saying all month, I am just encouraging persons to remember that they need to continue to do their own self-exams, because prevention is better and the early detection, rather, is what is going to save lives,” observed the Honourable Minister.

At the Ministry of Health, the Hon Byron-Nisbett commented, they have been encouraging persons to learn how to do their own self-exams, even if it means going to any of the health centres where nurses will teach them how to do self-exams.

“The earlier you detect a lump, or anything that is out of place, the easier and better it will be for them to be able to find a solution to be able to help you with whatever medication or treatment or whatever needs to be done,” said Minister Byron-Nisbett.

She added: “We do not want the awareness to end here on October 31st, but rather we want everyone to continue to be mindful of it, and it is not just women – it is also men too, because men can suffer from breast cancer. So we just want to encourage everyone to do self-exams. Detect early – early detection is what will save lives.”

Joining Minister Akilah Byron-Nisbett on the 2020 Pink Walk were Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Shawn Richards, Minister of Education the Hon Jonel Powell, Ambassador His Excellency Kevin ‘Ninky’ Williams and Mrs Prunela Williams, and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Mr William Vincent Hodge, among others.

Star of the 2020 Pink Walk was wheelchair-bound 79-year-old Mrs Sylvia Duggins, who was assisted by her son Mr Vincent Fough from the vicinity of Gillards Gas Station to the Frigate Bay lawns. The grandmother, who was accompanied by two of her granddaughters, defied the unexpected showers by turning down her son’s request that he take her into his vehicle. A veteran of the 2018 and 2019 Pink Walks, Mrs Duggins turns 80 on November 20.

“As usual the Essence of Hope Breast Cancer Awareness 2020 Pink Walk had quite a great turnout and we are happy that persons continue to see the importance of supporting and being a part of this initiative to raise awareness,” said the Minister of Health the Hon Akilah Bryon-Nisbett. “We are looking forward to not just ending the awareness on October 31st, but continued awareness throughout the entire year.”

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