Health Minister envisions countrywide access to cancer screening

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As Cancer Awareness Month continues, Minister of Public Health Volda
Lawrence has outlined her vision to fight the most prevalent cancers
in Guyana.

Topping the list are breast and cervical cancer. Firstly, she said
that she wishes to see all women in Guyana have access to mammography

“I would like to ensure as far as possible in every region that women
have access to free mammography services, I would like a mammography
machine in every region or in every sub-region of this country so that
we can be able to provide that for our women actually those that
cannot afford it.”

Secondly, she indicated that in the near future she would like to see
the establishment of a specialised cancer treatment centre.
Essentially, it was explained that cancer patients need a separate
environment from that of regular patients to go through treatment and

Also, this centre will have the requisite staff who can provide the
necessary support to those who are battling cancer; whether men or
women. “You want to go to a place where people understand your
situation and are trained to administer those services to you as soon
as you walk through the door. You must be able to feel that you are in
the right place.”

Speaking specifically to preventing cervical cancer, the minister also
envisions that the Human Papilloma Virus vaccine will be made
available to both teenaged boys and girls. Currently, the vaccine is
only provided to girls between the ages of 9 to 13 years of age.

The minister underscored that such plans can be made a reality once
adequate financing is provided by the government.

Taking the position as an advocate against cancers, Minister Lawrence,
who calls herself a cancer warrior said that the disease can go
undetected for many years but all it takes is a timely visit to a
doctor to know one’s status and tackle the disease early.

“I want every woman in this country at the age of 45 or 50, to know
every year they must ensure and have their tests done. They must also
know if they are sexually active, they must have a pap smear done,”
the Health Minister underscored.

Article Categories:
Cancer · Health · Ministry of Public Health

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