Breast cancer survivors urging women to take early action against disease

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-as ERC joins in observances to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month

ERC Commissioners and cancer survivors (2nd& 3rd from left)

Breast cancer survivors Clair Chappell and Bibi Amina Hassan are both urging women to take early action in fighting breast cancer. They were addressing a small gathering and gave vital survival tips during a programme of activities in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month hosted by the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) at its Georgetown office.

Ms Chappell, now in her fifties, was diagnosed with the disease ten years ago but took early action to avoid the worst.

She related the painful course of surgery and chemotherapy she experienced to stay alive.

“This treatment you have to make up your mind to take it,” she forcefully remarked. “I didn’t shed a tear because I say I have to do this to save my life and give people encouragement,” the former cancer patient confidently expressed.

Ms Hassan, 76, also took early action when she was diagnosed. “I advised everybody to take treatment because early detection saves lives,” she encouraged.

Ms Bibi Hassan(L) and Claire Chappell (R)

Ruth Howard, ERC Commissioner representing women, outlined the international campaigns in October every year to promote Breast Cancer awareness as well as research, and advised women to get early screening. “I encourage us ladies to have the early screening done so that we live a little longer and save lives,” urged Commissioner Howard.

Moreover, Ms Audrey Morris, gynecologist and nurse, also in attendance, urged men to get regular check-ups as well to detect the disease early. At the forum, women and men were advised to look for early signs during self-examination. She observed that anyone can develop breast cancer, regardless of ethnicity.

The ERC, in partnership with the Guyana Cancer Foundation, organized the activity as part of the month-long observances.

Commissioners of the ERC and staff members graced the event on Friday, October 19 in a sea of pink.

Ms Bibi Hassan, advocate and President of the Foundation, is the daughter of the elderly survivor.

A one-minute silence was observed to honour those who succumbed to the disease.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide.

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