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Mammogram machines for regional hospitals long overdue

Aerial view of this year's edition of the Guyana Cancer Foundation's Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk (Photo: Guyana Cancer Foundation)

The Guyana Cancer Foundation, while happy that mammograms will soon be put in regional hospitals, highlights struggles persons outside of Georgetown still face in accessing vital medical services.

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.

The Guyana Cancer Foundation has been working over the years to conduct Breast Cancer Awareness and advocacy initiatives, support breast cancer survivors and fighters, and provide access to screening services including mammograms and sonograms for high risk women including the medically underserved and underinsured.

With the Foundation’s work so focused on providing access to treatment and resources for prevention to persons who need it most, Founder Bibi Hassan laments that is it still a struggle for persons in communities outside of Georgetown to receive the care they need.

“It’s very hard and sometimes if you offer them to come they’ll tell you they can’t afford the passage or the airfare.”

Her only way of reaching many of these patients away from the coast are through medical outreaches, but still these do not enable her to reach many persons who need consistent medical care.

“I hosted one for the teacher’s union women’s executive body at the St. Cuthbert’s Mission Health Centre.”

The Ministry of Health recently announced that regional hospitals will soon be equipped with mammogram machines, as part of several improvements in services for breast cancer patients in Guyana.

Hassan says this service would greatly benefit persons in more remote communities.

“Places like that would need a mammogram machine so it would help people in those areas that can’t come to Georgetown. Remember places like Port Kaituma, you have to catch a plane to come.”

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.


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