BREAST CANCER AWARENESS
HOW IT BEGAN
October, recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month worldwide, became a reality for the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens many years ago when one of its members, Merilda Miller had a dear friend and colleague who was diagnosed with the disease. The Club set out to make support and early detection information more available to women living in the Cayman Islands, hence the first Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October 1997. Since that time the Club has supported the month long event through community outreach, the issuing of free mammogram vouchers, fundraisers and educational materials.
The Lions Club of Tropical Gardens is proud to continue its union with the Cayman Islands Health Services Association, CTMH Doctors
Hospital, Medlab, OceanMed, the Cayman Islands Cancer Society, the medical community, government departments, and businesses in promoting this awareness and providing mammograms. Early in the planning stage, costs for the mammograms are agreed by the providers; funds raised to provide the same by way of free mammogram vouchers.
To further help our Breast Cancer Outreach and education we try to come up with new and creative ways to raise awareness in the community. One approach is that of distributing giveaway packages at the District Clinics, District Awareness Nights and the Brenda Tibbetts Lund 10K & 5K Walk /Run. Some of the items include monthly planners with wellness tips, emery boards bearing our slogan of the year, key rings, shower cards with instructions on breast self-exams, t-shirts, carry bags, and pens.
The Lions Club of Tropical Gardens realizes that this programme helps both men and women cope with breast cancer, beginning with the possibility of its diagnosis and continuing through treatment and recovery, if necessary. The recommendation is that mammograms are done once every two years for those over 40.
How We Help
The Lions Club of Tropical Gardens Breast Cancer Awareness Programme in the Cayman Islands is in its 23rd year and still going strong.
The community’s support has enabled us to offer a meaningful program, especially to the women of these islands. Together, we have made a real difference! Reflecting on our past accomplishments over this period, the following are worthy of note:
Over 11,000 mammogram vouchers, sponsored by our Club, have enabled women to proactively assess their breast health. Lives have been saved;
Other diagnostic methods like ultrasound testing have also been sponsored, especially in younger women, on a medical doctor’s recommendation;
Education is key:
Over 55,000 persons have benefited from educational programs which have involved crucial partnerships with our health care practitioners. We have committed to ensuring that the “right” information is disseminated to as wide a cross-section of our population as possible;
Support of the survivors and their families; the little things count:
Hundreds of individuals have been meaningfully assisted with health care and other related costs, both at home and overseas. There are many cases where assistance is needed with travel expenses, accommodation and/or meals while obtaining overseas treatment. Support is also given through the purchase of prosthetic breast forms, bras, etc. At times when victims have been most vulnerable, we have sought to alleviate financial concerns, enable family members and care givers to be present and understood the importance of the arguably “little things” like a prosthetic bra in restoring self-confidence.
The above summary of our achievements to date is by no means meant to be exhaustive; nor do we wish to “rest on our laurels”.
The challenge must be for the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens to “make a good thing better!” To this end, the partnerships with our community must be made stronger; the commitment must be brought to a new level of intensity. We are excited about the challenges ahead and hope that you will join with us in this journey: “Lions Coming Together with you to make a Good thing better!”
OUR MAIN GOALS
• Increase the number of mammogram vouchers available to benefit these Islands. No woman should be left behind!
• Increase the level of our support to victims and their families - recognizing the need in many cases for ongoing assistance during an extended treatment period;
• Expand the ambit of educational drive to particularly include our younger women /girls and empower them with vital information relating to their bodies.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF BREAST CANCER?
There are often no symptoms of breast cancer, but sometimes women may discover a breast problem on their own.
Signs and symptoms to be aware of may include:
A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
Bloody discharge from the nipple ...
Nipple discharge or redness
Breast or nipple pain
Swelling of part of the breast or dimpling ...
Most breast-cancer-related tests fall into one or more of the following categories:
Screening tests: Screening tests (such as yearly mammograms) are given routinely to people who appear to be healthy and are not suspected of having breast cancer. Their purpose is to find breast cancer early, before any symptoms can develop and the cancer usually is easier to treat.
Diagnostic tests: Diagnostic tests (such as biopsy) are given to people who are suspected of having breast cancer, either because of symptoms they may be experiencing or a screening test result. These tests are used to determine whether or not breast cancer is present and, if so, whether or not it has traveled outside the breast. Diagnostic tests also are used to gather more information about the cancer to guide decisions about treatment.
Monitoring tests: Once breast cancer is diagnosed, many tests are used during and after treatment to monitor how well therapies are working. Monitoring tests also may be used to check for any signs of recurrence.
Breast Cancer Awareness
"Early Detection Is The Best Protection"