Director of Community Health Services, Dr. Hazel Williams-Roberts said that the event is being held because of the serious concerns raised by the Ministry following recent screenings of women in the country.
She explained that it is important for all women of reproductive age to attend the sessions to learn more about this disease. Mothers of St. Kitts and Nevis are being encouraged to take their daughters to the Forum, which takes place on Sunday, 26th June, starting at 4:00 p.m., at the Ballroom of the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.
Dr. Robertson said the Health Ministry has noted that there’s an increase in incidents that doctors are seeing in cervical cancer.
She said, “This is despite the fact that the coverage has not increased so it is genuinely an increase in the number of cases and not because we have been screening more persons.”
During last year some 17 cases were identified, while in 2005, there was only one case. “So in fact, it was more common than breast cancer which traditionally was thought to be the most common cancer among females,” said the Director of Community Health.
Dr. Roberts also revealed that guest presenter Dr. Troy Gatcliffe, a gynecological and reproductive cancers specialist, will address risk factors for cervical cancer, concentrating on its relationship with HPV infection; how to prevent it in terms of pap smear screening; and new preventative approaches including two vaccines. Dr. Gatcliffe who is affiliated with
Baptist Health International, Miami in the U.S. will also entertain questions and comments following his presentation.
Dr. Roberts elaborated that cervical cancer can affect any female who becomes sexually active.
There are various types of HPV virus and she noted that the Forum will focus on the virus that affects the genitals. Considering that the virus can be transmitted by both males and females, men are invited to attend the forum to find out how HPV can affect them.
Similarly, the Director of Community Health Services addressed mothers.
“I want to make a special appeal to the women of the Federation, especially, for them to bring their daughters,” Dr. Roberts emphasized. “Even if they haven’t become sexually active as yet, because this is an important issue, one that concerns all of us. And you need to come out and get this information so that you can access the services and decrease the incidents of cervical cancer in our Federation.”