Categorized | Featured, National News

Breast Cancer Cases Alarming


The Bahamas ranks among the top 20 countries in the world in terms of the number of women with breast cancer.

Officials from The Bahamas Breast Cancer Initiative (BBCI) revealed the alarming statistics at a press conference last evening, adding that nine per cent of Bahamian women have the potentially deadly disease.

The average age of Bahamian women with breast cancer is 42, according to officials.

“One out of 10 women in The Bahamas get breast cancer,” Cancer Research Chair at the University of Toronto, Dr. Steven Narod explained.

“It’s a bit high, considering the percentage in the US stands at about eight per cent. The proportion of breast cancer in The Bahamas that’s caused by the mutation is about 24 per cent. So it’s a quarter, which isn’t a huge proportion, but it’s certainly a large one.”
According to officials, Bahamian women have three different genes of breast cancer, making it the most prevalent form of the disease in the country.

“Unfortunately, this happens to be the country with the highest proportion of mutations in the world,” he said.

“When we say that 24 per cent of the women with breast cancer in The Bahamas have the mutation, I should point out that the runner-up is Israel with 12 per cent. So you’ve got a big lead, which I’m sure you’re not too proud of. Given that, it’s important that we react to it and try to figure out how we can use that information.”

But Dr. Narod assured that there are preventative measures women with the gene can take to reduce the possibility of getting the disease.

In hopes of reducing the number of people with the disease, the BBCI plan to test 2,000 women each year over the next four years.

At last count, just over 1,600 women had already been tested this year. Of this figure, six per cent of them tested positive for breast cancer.

In addition to testing, BBCI Executive Director, Melissa Major said they are also raising funds as it costs $5,000 to test each person.

As it stands, there are 300 women on the waiting list.

She said the goal is to raise $1.6 million over the next four years.

So far, officials have received several donations with $25,000 being the largest.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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