By Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Since the onset of the pandemic, the Essence of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation has seen almost a doubling of cancer diagnoses here in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis; this was revealed by the Foundation’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Marcus Natta.
“We have seen almost a doubling in breast cancer diagnoses and cancer in general here in St.Kitts and Nevis. Again, we are not able to pinpoint if that directly relates to the pandemic, but it must have some bearing on it; so, we are looking at the numbers again and trying to partner with our healthcare professionals and trying to get as much information as we can.”
Meanwhile, Natta has lauded the work of the media houses in the Federation of St.Kitts and Nevis, who have been instrumental in the fight against cancer. He also shared some ways in which the media can provide further assistance in this regard.
“Anytime we have reached out to our media houses, they have been very welcoming, whether it is coming to do radio interviews or radio programmes, (we have various radio programmes) we are always welcomed and assisted. I suppose, where we would want further assistance is maybe for them to be proactive in terms of reaching out to us to offer more regular programming, more regular education and awareness, information that we can provide; we also try to offer emotional support to cancer patients and their families. So, anything, where the media can keep this disease in the forefront of the minds of the public, will be really welcoming .”
Natta explained that Essence of Hope doesn’t only function in the month of October, but all year round; citing that, all the hype with the wearing of pink in October, should be displayed on a more regular basis apart from October.
The Foundation’s PRO has also used the opportunity to encourage cancer patients to seek emotional support from Essence of Hope, a counsellor and close friends or family, so as to receive positive reinforcement or motivation as they go through their fight. Natta in closing encouraged women 40 years and older to get their annual mammograms.
Essence of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation is offering mammograms for women free of charge.