Impressive turnout for cancer screenings in La Plaine

Organizers of a series of cancer screenings on the island are impressed by the turnout and have decided to extend the activity.

The Dominica Cancer Society took to the community of La Plaine on Thursday to conduct cancer screening activities.

Director of the society Father Franklyn Cuffy said so far 64 women had turned up.

“Today is the official launching of the cancer screening in that community, and I must say that the nurse in charge and everyone involved are overwhelmed by the response.

He said the screening officially began with an education workshop where persons were counseled and taught about cancer.

He said, among other things, they were told that cancer is not a death sentence.

“We are very impressed and we are very satisfied with the turn out. We have to make people realize that cancer is the number one killer but the importance is that if you detect it early, you don’t have to die,” he said.

Cuffy is calling on the other health districts to respond likewise.

The Cancer Society moves to Grand Fond on the January 14, followed by Boetica on the 19th and Delices on January 28.

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  1. Fr Franklyn Cuffy, C.Ss.R, Dominica Cancer Society Inc. (PRO)
    January 15, 2010

    The Dominica Cancer Society Inc. and the Family Nurse Practitioners of the La Plaine Health District continue to be over whelm with the response to the ongoing free cancer screening in that Health District.
    On Thursday, January 14, 2010 fifty-two women and two men took the opportunity to be screened. Six of those screened needed urgent referral!
    The fact that ten (10) percent of those screened needed referral raises serious concern for the Dominica Cancer Society. Nurse Educator Allison Samuel-Llyod and Sr. Cordelia Pierre DJ are carded to be in Boetica on January 19 and Delices on January 28. A closing ceremony of appreciation is also slated for Thursday, 28 January 2010, in the la Plaine Health District.
    In the meantime, plans are well on its way for the free Cancer Screening to be conducted in the Health District of Portsmouth. The Portsmouth Family Nurse Practitioner and the Espwa (Hope) Cancer Society of Ross University School of Medicine are expected to collaborate in this effort, during the month of February.

  2. Anonymous
    January 10, 2010

    Well done Epiman. My wife is a Consultant Physician and I enjoyed reading it to her. She is convinced that you are either a doctor or other “higher” health care professional. Well said

  3. Epiman
    January 8, 2010

    Cancer Screening at the village level? What kinds of Cancer? What diagnostic tools were used? What kind of follow-up is there? Treatment options?

    Is it ethically correct to give people false hope or worse false assurance?

    I was recently diagnosed for Clear cell renal cell carcinoma although I have been assiduously visiting my family doctor. The diagnosis was purely incidental since I exhibited no symptoms and had been qualified as healthy (I have a good Body Mass Index (layterm – I had a good weight for my height), I did not smoke, eat healthy foods (as much Organic products as possible) and excercised regularly (yes, I could turn heads in my swim suit). Further, so good was my cholesterol levels that my family doc always joked that I was taking cholesterol lowering drugs).

    As I live in a developed country, I could afford a routine ultrasound of my abdominal cavity – which showed a mass in my kindney. Further investigations (CT scan) showed that it may be a tumour. A biopsy was performed but did not detect the malignancy of the mass however, my surgeon, been an expert in that field decided that it was best to remove the tumour because of its size and location. That tumour showed up as a carcinoma (T1B) from pathological testing.

    Now let’s recap: 1. Healthy male (go blood chemistry including white blood cell count within the range)
    2: No family history of cancer
    3.No risk factors for that type of cancer
    4.****Routine Ultra Sound*** detection (questionable)
    5. ****CT Scan evaluation**** (questionable- necrosis present but could be benign)
    6. ****Biopsy *** non confirmatory.
    7. Pathology testing

    Now, I am hard pressed to believe that #4 can be done at the village clinic level. #5 is very expensive and may not be available in Dominica and for #6, the expertise and technology is sorely lacking in Dominica.

    So, Candidate X is evaluated by the medical team (going through stage 1, 2 and 3) and is told that his* risk of cancer is minimal. But that’s false hope because hecould be living with a type of cancer and in 5 years be dead from it.

    If Candidate X has the connection to go to stage 4 and even 5, what hope is there for him? Can he afford that specialized surgery needed to correct it? Luckily I did not need chemotherapy (as the cancer had not metastasized to my nodes or organs) however, if the candidate is staged higher, he would need some form of further intervention… would that be available to him?

    So, to make a long story short, one should only test for a disease if knowing the result could improve the life of the individual or society. So, how is knowing going to help candidate X if he has no resources and no chance of survival? Well mom would say “make your calling and election sure”. Unfortunately, that doesn’t cut it for me! It is ethically incorrect to screen for a disease if it doesn’t have a personal or public positive outcome. Further, indadequate screening can lay false hope.

    * Gender neutrality “his” can be interchanged with “hers”

  4. Fair & Square
    January 8, 2010

    Those who can’t afford have no excuse for not seeking such service; because, it appears to be free.

    Take advantage people; because, early detection is key to saving one’s life.

    Great initiative Fr. Cuffy.

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