POINT BLANCHE, ST. MAARTEN – Port St. Maarten is in solidarity with the nation for World Breast Cancer Awareness Month – October. Flags has been placed on the Causeway to profile and increase attention and support for the awareness, early detection and treatment as well as palliative care of this disease.
There are about 1.38 million new cases and 458 000 deaths from breast cancer each year, according to the World Health Organization (IARC Globocan, 2008). Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women worldwide, both in the developed and developing countries.
Breast cancer can be detected early and treated effectively.
Port St. Maarten expresses its support to local St. Maarten organizations and other entities who create awareness within the community and commend them for their efforts.
It is well understood that raising awareness and understanding about breast cancer risks, early signs and symptoms and overall breast health awareness is an important part of a public health approach for breast cancer.
In the Americas, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women. An estimated 408,000 women were newly diagnosed and more than 92,000 women died from breast cancer in the Americas in 2012 according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). This is expected to increase by 46 per cent in the Americas by 2030, if current trends continue.
Currently there is not sufficient knowledge on the causes of breast cancer, therefore, early detection of the disease remains the cornerstone of breast cancer control.
When breast cancer is detected early, and if adequate diagnosis and treatment are available, there is a good chance that breast cancer can be cured. If detected late, however, curative treatment is often no longer an option. In such cases, palliative care to relieve the suffering of patients and their families is needed.
The majority of deaths (269 000) occur in low- and middle-income countries, where most women with breast cancer are diagnosed in late stages due mainly to lack of awareness on early detection and barriers to health services.