Cinnamon Grand commemorates World Breast Cancer Month

Friday, 7 November 2014 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Every year, 2,000 women around the country go through the turmoil of hearing the dreaded words ‘you have breast cancer’. Although, breast cancer is the most common cancer that affects women, it is also one of the cancers that can be cured completely, with early detection. With multiple methods of detection including self-checks, the numbers could easily diminish if proper awareness is created among the community. Committed to nurturing the wellbeing and empowering its team of associates, Cinnamon Grand Colombo conducted a breast cancer awareness seminar followed by a free cancer screening on Wednesday (29 October) for its female staff in commemoration of world breast cancer awareness month (October). Eminent speakers focused on the importance of early detection and educated associates on self-examination techniques. Preventive and treatment methods were also discussed. Cancer Control Program Former Director Dr. Neelamani Paranagama delivering introductory remarks noted that the very reason for dedicating a month for breast cancer reiterates the importance of the disease as it affects women, who play a vital role in a family. “Every year, nearly 200,000 females are detected with breast cancer worldwide, while the numbers in Sri Lanka states 2,000,” Dr. Paranagama said. Women of all ages are prone to the disease, even those in their early 20s; she said drawing examples from a recent case where two university students were detected. “The good news is that this is a noncommunicable disease with preventive and treatment methods.” Diagnosed early and treated, survival rates can be near 100%. Cancer Control Program Medical Officer Dr. Harshini Amaradasa explained the technical aspect of the disease. Causes contributing towards breast cancer are multifactorial, she said. “There is a chance for those who have breast cancer and ovarian cancer in the family to be diagnosed with breast cancer, given that the relationship is in the first level i.e. if the mother has it there is a chance for the daughter to undergo the same experience,” Dr. Amaradasa noted. Causes also include lactation, a long menstrual cycle (in terms of number of years), going through long period of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and lifestyle of the person. “Lifestyle would mean obesity, stress, smoking, lack of exercise and not eating adequate amounts of vegetables and fruits, among others,” she said. Guiding associates through the self-examination process, Dr. Amaradasa assured that women should start self-examination as early as in their 20s. “Between the ages of 20 to 40, women must self-examine every month, with clinical examinations every three years. For those over 40, clinical examinations should happen every year.” Mithuruwela Cancer Support Network Founding Member Mala Thalayasingam who is a breast cancer survivor also shared her experience at the seminar. Public health sisters from the Cancer Control Program conducted the screening for associates. A breast cancer awareness booklet developed by Cinnamon Grand Marketing Communications and Sustainability team in collaboration with the Cancer Control Program was also distributed to all participants.