Column: Marking Cancer Awareness Month

February 8, 2017 | 2 Comments

[Opinion column written by “Junior Minister of Health & Seniors Senator Lynne Woolridge]

While October is Cancer Awareness month, Saturday, February 4 was World Cancer Day and over the past several days we’ve seen testimonials from fellow Bermudians about their experience with this disease.

The top cause of death in Bermuda is heart and cardiovascular disease. In second place is cancer, whose many forms are responsible for almost a third of all deaths every year.

In a place this small and interconnected, everyone in Bermuda has been affected by cancer – either directly or through a family member or friend who has been diagnosed.

The top six cancers reported in 2015 in Bermuda were breast, prostate, colorectal, cervical, lung and skin cancer. Together these cancers account for almost 80% of all reported cases.

So how can you protect yourself from this global scourge which kills 8 million people around the world every year? Know the warning signs and understand your family history of cancers, learn how to perform self-examinations, schedule regular check-ups with your GP and, perhaps most importantly, commit to living a healthy lifestyle.

Lynne Woolridge Bermuda February 7 2017

Many cancers are associated with lifestyle choices – what we consume and how we conduct ourselves. We can lower our risk by avoiding behaviours that can lead to cancer – smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, eating fried and fatty foods, failing to drink enough water, unprotected exposure to the sun and so on.

The best preventative medicine is to eat a healthy, balanced diet, don’t smoke, exercise regularly and get enough rest.

Various events take place throughout the year which you can participate in and support.

There will be a Wellness Workshop for Cancer Patients/Survivors on February 10th 2017 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute [BUEI] which is free and open to cancer patients and survivors.

There will be a second workshop on Wednesday, February 15th at the same location and time. Topics discussed will include support needs, positive thinking and boosting energy levels.

The 2015 St Baldrick’s event, which raises money for childhood cancer research

You can also contribute to cancer research by making a donation to the St. Baldrick’s fundraiser – one of the most successful fund-raisers in Bermuda that raises almost half a million dollars every year for childhood cancer research and the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre’s SunSmart Programme.

The 2017 St. Baldrick’s event will take place on March 17th at 5 pm at Docksiders on Front Street. More information can be found on the Bermuda Cancer and Health website at www.cancer.bm.

- Lynne Woolridge

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  1. Average Bermudian says:

    hmmm

  2. Realist says:

    As a cancer survivor and fighter I have to clarify that lifestyle isn’t a factor in a cancer diagnosis. Doctors don’t really know what causes cancer or who will get it except where there is a family history or genetic predisposition. If it were related to lifestyle choices like poor diets, obesity and substance abuse then why are there so many persons in these categories not getting cancer? Be careful how you diagnose why people get cancer as many have healthy lifestyles but some how get cancer.

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