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Cancer charity says early detection is key to recovery

Screen test: women are being urged to get tested for breast cancer as early as possible (Photograph supplied)

A Bermudian charity is urging women to guard against a killer disease that affects one in eight of them across the island.

According to the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre, early detection of breast cancer is crucial in reducing fatality rates. The disease is the most common cancer diagnosis among women on the island, the charity said.

The BCHC issued the rallying cry “Feel Your Lumps, Protect Your Bumps” ahead of Breast Health Awareness Month, to shed light on the battle against breast cancer.

According to statistics compiled by the Bermuda National Tumour Registry, 92 cases of breast cancer were recorded on the island last year.

Azuree Williams, an event and programme manager at BCHC, said: "Look around at your mother and daughters, your friends and neighbours. The jarring truth is that one in eight of those women will hear the words 'you have breast cancer' in their lifetime.“

Despite that statistic, survival rates are high if the disease is detected early — which is why the charity is urging women to check themselves often and get regular screenings.

According to an American Cancer Society report, the five-year relative survival rate for women with stage one breast cancer is close to 100 per cent. Even if the disease develops further, survival rates remain above 90 per cent.

Ms Williams said: "At Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre, we know that early detection is essential not only for survival but also for improving the quality of life, minimising the cost of medical services and having the option for less extensive treatment and more treatment options.

"Our centre recommends that women at average breast cancer risk begin screening at the age of 40. Consult your doctor to learn how to lower your risk factors and determine the proper tests for you.“

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Published October 02, 2023 at 7:52 am (Updated October 02, 2023 at 8:32 am)

Cancer charity says early detection is key to recovery

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