Minister of Health Dr Frank Anthony has announced that regional hospitals will soon be equipped with mammogram machines as part of several improvements in services for breast cancer patients in Guyana. October is observed annually as breast cancer awareness month.
Minister Anthony has highlighted a number of initiatives the government is currently undertaking to improve services for persons in need of treatment, evaluation or diagnosis for breast cancer in Guyana.
This includes making services more accessible for persons outside of the capital city.
“We are currently in discussions with the International Atomic Energy Agency, we have an MOU with them, and they have promised to donate to Guyana three mammograms. We are currently in the process of looking at three of our regional hospitals and identifying the areas we are going to be putting these mammograms.”
Currently, there is one mammogram at the Georgetown Public Hospital, which is available free of cost to the public.
He also noted for persons diagnosed with breast cancer, the medication can be very expensive.
In light of this, the government is aiming to increase the supply of medication available for patients.
The Minister also acknowledged inefficiencies with the current biopsy lab, mainly in terms of the extensive wait for test results.
“So we have been talking to Mount Sinai about how to expedite this process, and one of the methods we are looking at is to add what is called telepathology. We can prepare the slides here in Guyana, we can take high-resolution images of the slides, then an oncologist in some part of the world will be able to read the slide just like how you would read a CT Scan and give a diagnosis.”
The Minister also noted that the government is working to develop an oncology centre which will improve services for cancer patients significantly within the next few years.