British Virgin Islands

Saturday, Jun 19, 2021

‘Cancer has increased! We need to go out & do our tests’

‘Cancer has increased! We need to go out & do our tests’

"Right now as I sit here I am so very sad, sad that we are always in the public giving information on talks on the radio stations, on talks on social media and you know this morning (Monday) I was told that five persons have been diagnosed with colon cancer, late stages, and this is a cancer that can be prevented, all you have to do is go to the doctor and do your colonoscopy."

This is according to President of the BVI Cancer Society Ms Gloria A. Fahie last night, October 6, 2020, while a guest on JTV's The Big Story with host Cathy O. Richards.

The discussion was at the time about the observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month being observed worldwide; however, emphasis was also placed on other forms of cancers prevalent in the Virgin Islands (VI).

"Among the growing population, cancer has increased, it has doubled, and it has increased by forty percent and that is a big percent and that means that we need to be proactive, we need to go out and do our tests."

According to Ms Fahie, among the tests that persons should ensure they get done are mammograms, sonograms, CEA blood test, tumor markers tests, colonoscopy, "Whatever tests are out there we need to check ourselves," the cancer survivor stressed.

‘Heightened conversations needed’- Sarai O. Smith

One of the young members of the BVI Cancer Society, Ms Sarai O. Smith said she strong feels there's a need for heightened conversations among her peers.

"It’s important to get those conversations going educating us on early detection, doing our tests at home or going out at getting our appointment to ensure we get those tests done."

From left: President of the BVI Cancer Society, Gloria A. Fahie; Treasurer, Sylvia C. Moses and Member, Sarai O. Smith on The Big Show on JTV Channel 55 on October 6, 2020.

‘Older men don’t like to go to the doctor’- Sylvia C. Moses

While the number of new cases of various cancers continue to spiral among the young population, Treasurer of the BVI Cancer Society, Ms Sylvia C. Moses spoke to the challenges of getting the older men to improve their health seeking behaviours as they too are among a growing population of emerging cancer cases in the territory, "Even our older generation, older men in particular we need to ensure that they do their colonoscopy very early on, as early as possible, 50 [years old]."

Speaking about the experience of her own father who was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 77, Ms Moses said, "What we have come to realise is that the older men, for whatever reason, they don’t like to go to the doctor."

"We need to bring that awareness, we need to bring that information to them that they must get their medicals done and keep their medical appointments," Moses said.


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