With the overarching mission of reintegrating cancer survivors and fighters to society, the Guyana Cancer Foundation has recently begun offering counselling services free of charge to those in need.
In observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Guyana Cancer Foundation is raising awareness and funds to aid medical treatment for the medically underserved and underinsured.
Bibi Hassan, Founder of the Cancer Foundation says they have also now made free mental health services accessible to persons living with or recovering from cancer, as well as caregivers.
“Our counsellor, she is from Uruguay. She has been counselling our cancer survivors and fighters since last month. She comes every week on Wednesdays and also she does private sessions on our rooms right at the office.”
This is part of the Foundation's ongoing mission to reintegrate persons diagnosed with cancer into society.
Efforts to achieve this were being done through the cancer survivors and fighters club established in 2018. This club is a way for persons with similar struggles to meet and connect with each other, according to Hassan.
“Some of them you’ll find that they were afraid to come back into society. In this club, they meet and they come and sit and share their stories and such. I also host events for them.”
Hassan further mentioned that for women who would have lost their breasts to cancer, they can also struggle with issues relating to their body image or in other areas of their emotional wellbeing.
At first, people take on a lot but then they adjust because they know they have to live with this for the rest of their lives. It’s a hard task but they normally adjust themselves.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines breast cancer as a disease in which cells in the breast grow out of control. It can lead to lumps in the breast or underarm (armpit), thickening or swelling, irritation or dimpling of breast skin, redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast, pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area, nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood, any change in the size or the shape of the breast or pain in any area of the breast.