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Education key in cancer fight, says banker

Thursday, October 11, 2018

THE education of the Jamaican population on how to prevent cancer is key to reducing the incidence of the disease in the country, according to Nigel Holness, managing director of CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank.

Addressing the seventh annual “Walk For The Cure” at Emancipation Park, recently, Holness said that the event, which takes place in the 17 Caribbean countries in which the bank operates, is one of the region's “largest cancer fund-raising and educational initiatives”.

Noting that since 2012, US$1.7 million has been raised across the region to benefit cancer organisations in each country, Holness said, “We are particularly pleased that in Jamaica we have been able to contribute $12 million to the Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS) to boost its capacity to educate the Jamaican population about cancer prevention and treatment.”

Pointing to breast cancer as “the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among Jamaican women”, Yulit Gordon, executive director of the JCS, told participants in Walk For The Cure that “sustained public education on breast self-examinations, clinical examinations and annual mammograms are key strategies to detecting breast cancer in the early stages.”

Said Gordon: “There is no doubt that early detection will significantly improve outcomes and survival for Jamaican women at risk for the disease.”

Gordon said that partnership with CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank over the past seven years has enabled the JCS to strengthen and expand public education and screening programmes to many underserved communities across the island, including emotional counselling and support to over 20,000 Jamaicans each year.