PM Douglas Urges Federation’s Women to Take Health Seriously

“The statistics are also showing…that breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer in our women… No matter what is happening in the broader world…we simply cannot accept rising cancer rates as normal. They have been rising here for sure but we must work together to bend that curve through new attitudes, new lifestyles and of course, new technologies…

“…Women, make those annual check-ups a priority. People today get very nervous about their cell phones breaking but they can be very laid back and indifferent, really, about what is happening with their own bodies. It is wrong, very wrong, very very wrong, to go to the doctor only when we are sick. Once a year, pick any date that you wish, as long as you stick to it and come rain or shine, head to your doctors officers, head to the health centre, for that all-important annual check-up,” expressed Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas during his Tuesday, 8th February, 2011 session of his weekly radio programme, “Ask the PM”.

Dr. Douglas indicated that as the years have progressed, individuals have become more and more inactive and have ditched the wholesome foods which come directly from the earth, for processed and chemically preserved food. This, the medical doctor suggested, could contribute to the rise in incidences of cancer, thus he noted, current trends of inactivity and poor diet must be reversed.

The Prime Minister encouraged women to, in addition to visiting their physician regularly, perform self-breast examinations regularly. He indicated that the Ministry of Health will be assisting with educating women in this regard.

“The Ministry of Health has, for example, been organising sessions to teach women how to examine their breasts properly and I urge women to master this particular technique and to perform it regularly because prevention indeed is far better than cure.

“In addition to women taking responsibility for knowing and examining their own bodies however, we also want to ensure that we have the technological infrastructure in place to help us. Firstly, spot breast cancer early and secondly, intervene quickly wherever necessary. As a result, before the end of this year, the women of St. Kitts and Nevis will be able to have mammograms conducted right here at Joseph N. France Hospital once again.”

Also addressing other women’s health issues, Dr. Douglas further urged women to not only focus on breast health, but other areas of their bodies.

“Women…your government has made certain that pap smears are available at every-single health clinic on this island and it is free of charge. March in, therefore and get them…You can save yourselves and world of pain, trauma, financial distress and family upheaval by ensuring first that you not have cancer or failing that, if there is a problem, you will catch it early. Women, your cancer rate is three times the rate of men. Time to become much more protective of yourselves; time to become much more vigilant, time to believe and know that early detection really does matter and therefore. You must act accordingly.”

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