LCS, Partner Conduct Free Breast Cancer Screening

By Mafanta Kromah

The Liberia Cancer Society (LCS), in partnership with the SDA Cooper Hospital, is conducting a free breast cancer screening program focused on free breast exam and consultation to women and men between age 15 to 19.

Addressing a press conference Wednesday, October 18, 2017, at the African Methodist Episcopal University Administrative Building in Monrovia, LCS Executive Director, Madam (Dr.) Dawn Cooper Barnes, noted that the first screening day will be conducted on Sunday October 22, 2017 at the SDA Cooper Hospital on 12th Street Sinkor.

Madam Barnes noted that the LCS in partnership with the Ministry of Health is committed to improving cancer treatment and saving lives, noting that the screening program for breast cancer is one of its types of community program to help make awareness on the issue of cancer to Liberian society.

She said upon the screening on Sunday, the team will move from community to community to offer the same service to as many people as it can reach.

Dr. Barnes also said they are in need of volunteers who can help reach the program in various communities, adding, “We need doctors who can help with the screening and training as well as others who can set up educate those coming for screening.”

She asserted that, “we hope that by training healthcare workers, they can start breast cancer screening program in their own communities.

She called on people who would like to be volunteers to visit the SDA Cooper Hospital or call cell number 0777551547.

At the same time, Dr. Gillian Seton, the general surgeon at the SDA Cooper Hospital, said that the screening program has three goals: raising awareness on breast cancer and counseling regarding any breast problems that will be found, teach women to get a yearly breast exam and to train more healthcare professionals to screen for breast cancer.

“Training will be provided at each screening day for licensed midwives, nurses and nurse aids and even physicians that want to gain more skills on cancer,” said Dr. Seton.

She continued: “We also hope to aid in identifying other breast problems such as infections and non-cancer knots in the breast, then providing counseling and advice on how to get the problem treated.”

Dr. Seton spoke of importance of women to do yearly examination, noting that there are small knots that can be found in the breast by the healthcare workers before the individuals themselves can feel the knot in their body.

She maintained that cancer is a very solemn and bad disease but can be treated based on the early diagnoses and treatment, adding that breast cancer starts when cells grow out of control and form a knot.

Dr. Seton explained that the symptoms of breast cancer include hard knot anywhere in the breast, swelling, thickening or dimpling skin, nipple drainage and retraction. She said at time there can be infection about cancer that makes it important for medical attention to be sought anytime one notices these signs.

She asserted that men can also be affected with breast cancer even though they have a very small amount of the tissue in the chests, maintaining that some can be inherited from family.