JM | Oct 3, 2022

Tufton urges screening amid concerns outlined in Jamaica’s breast cancer data

Tamoy Ashman

Tamoy Ashman / Our Today

Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton. (Photo: JIS)

Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Christopher Tufton is urging women to get screened for breast cancer, following concerning data about Jamaica’s breast cancer statistics.

According to Tufton, a report by the Global Cancer Observatory states that there were an estimated 1,208 new cases of breast cancer reported in Jamaica in 2020. There was also an estimate of 637 breast cancer-related deaths on the island.

“Given this concerning data, this month and beyond we will devote more resources, working with conviction and compassion, to escalate our breast cancer public health education communications programme,” said Tufton in an open message today (October 3).

He noted that screening for breast cancer is very important as early detection allows for early treatment and less aggressive treatment methods.

Mammogram screening is currently the most effective way to reduce breast cancer mortality and increase the chances of survival.

“I strongly encourage all women to meet with their physicians and discuss their individual risks for breast cancer. Increased awareness, especially of family history and other common factors… can help save lives through early diagnosis and prompt treatment,” noted Tufton.

The message of screening will therefore be ‘front and centre’, given its importance, said Tufton.

This year, Breast Cancer Awareness Month will take place under the theme ‘Together we fight’, urging a united approach to tackling breast cancer.

“I know that Jamaicans have the capacity and empathy to join our rally cry to honour those who have lost the battle, cheer on our valiant survivors and provide heartfelt support and prayers to those currently battling the disease,” said Tufton.

He further urged those who have won the battle against breast cancer to share their stories “in an effort to send a message of hope to those battling the disease”.

The Ministry of Health is committed to the fight against breast cancer, said Tufton, noting that it was seeking to ensure that all parishes have access to cutting edge technology and life-saving medication that is free to the public sector and discounted for private sector patients.

For more information on breast cancer, visit the ministry’s social media pages and website


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