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Go-Jamaica Chat Back to chat homepage

Topic: Issues regarding Breast Cancer.
Transcript from chat session held on October 18, 2001

Our Guests
Mr. Earl Jarrett, Chairman of the Jamaica Cancer Society
Dr. Jennifer Mamby-Alexander, Pathologist
Dr. Michael McFarlane, Surgeon
Dr. Dereck Mitchell

Question
How is the breast cancer society helping Jamaican Awareness?

Answer
In Jamaica there is the Jamaica Cancer Society and the Jamaica Reach to recovery which is is breast support group. Both organizations seek to reduce the incidences of a late discovery of breast cancer by promoting early detection through breast examinations and mammography.

Question
Is the Jamaican Cancer society apart of an international group...if so who heads that up?

Answer
No its not. It is a Jamaican non-government organization with friendly relations with international bodies involve in cancer.

Question
is it true that cancer (including breast cancer) is the leading cause of death in Jamaican women?

Answer
It is leading cause of cancer death in Jamaican women and its if commonness female cancer in Jamaica.

Question
I am 44, at what age is it most common for colon cancer?

Answer
50-70 is commonest age for colon cancer.

Question
I am 33. Do I need to do a mammography?

Answer
If you have positive family history you can start at 35 but 40 is recommended age.

Question
I am 33 do I need to do a mammography?

Answer
If have family history of breast cancer you may start screening at age 35 but age 40 is the recommended age.

Question
Tell me , is there a cure for breast cancer without removing the breast...cause a lady on my street just found out she has it????

Answer
It depends on the stage. For early breast cancer especially if there is no lump to feel there are options that involve removal of the cancer and radiation treatment . Therefore the breast will not be removed.

Question
I had my first child at 40 should I have the mammography done?

Answer
Yes.

Question
do men get breast cancer?

Answer
Yes

Question
talking about colon cancer, how do you keep your colon healthy?

Answer
High fiber (such as fruits and vegetables) low fat diet and screening after the age of 50.

Question
Can you say , what is a sure symptom of ovarian cancer?

Answer
There are no sure symptoms.

Question
If I constantly caress my girlfriend's breasts does that increase the risk of cancer?

Answer
No it does not.

Question
If the density of the breast obscure the reading of the mammogram, what should the next step be?

Answer
Ultra sound, self examinations monthly and doctor's visit twice per year and a useful boyfriend.

Question
who are in the high Risk groups...

Answer
Women who have never had children, early first period, late menopause and strong family history. e.g.. Breast cancer in a mother or sister especially under 40.

Question
What are the statistics like for breast cancer in women and men

Answer
One in every 8 women and men less than 1 in every 100 breast cancers.

Question
I have heard of this young lady she is only 19 and she has ovarian cancer....is that not young...i mean should i worry for my daughter at even a younger age?

Answer
It is very rare to have ovarian cancer at such tender age and the risk for your daughter is very low.

Question
is it a fact then when you have prostrate cancer you don't recover from it

Answer
No. Early detection provides opportunities for effective treatment.

Question
Does a healthy sex life reduce the chance of getting cancer?

Answer
A healthy safe sex life is a good thing but multi-partners is associated with cancer of the cervix and the penis/

Question
Why such a late age for mammo and colon test...is there and early preventative measure for us all

Answer
Because mammography in younger women have low detection rate and cancer is uncommon before the age of 40.

Question
At what age is it safe to do a mammogram?

Answer
It is always safe to do a mammogram because the radiation dose is extremely low.

Question
Is it true that breast feeding may decrease your changes of cancer?

Answer
Breast feeding is thought to protective against the development of breast cancer.

Question
would men have a lump in there breast too?

Answer
Yes.

Question
I have a friend who has had ovarian cancer at 22 and cancer of the bone that connects the ribs in 15 years. What is the chance of her having a 3rd one.

Answer
It is likely that the cancer in the bones came from the ovary and the possibility exist that she may get further spread of the cancer.

Question
do Jamaican doctors recommend the use of ganja to help with the pain of KEMO...cause I see it a lot up here in Canada.....what do you think?

Answer
Ganja is not prescribe in Jamaica but we note with approach taken in Canada and the USA and some Europe countries.

Question
How widespread is cancer of the penis in Jamaica?

Answer
The extent of cancer in the penis is very low.

Question
My doctor recommends mammography at age 20...should I go along with his advice or is he just trying to rob me?

Answer
The standard recommendation is age 40 for people with normal risk.

Question
JCS....are women given free mammograms in Jamaica......or reduced rates....

Answer
The Cancer Society ask for a voluntary donation if someone cannot afford the donation the service is still made available.

Question
what % of women are tested for breast cancer in Jamaica?

Answer
Of the women who should be tested breast cancer only four in every 100 women.

Question
What are you saying ....How can that be....that if I have multi-partners I am at risk.... why so...what does that have to do with it?

Answer
Because there is a virus call Human Papilloma that is sexual transmitted and this virus is associated with cancer of the cervix and the penis.

Question
Are there any symptoms for cancer.....or it can only be detected though tests?

Answer
For breast cancer can may show up as lump in the breast, blood from the nipple or and area of nipple.

Question
what is being done in Jamaica to educate the young people about not only breast cancer but other forms of cancer

Answer
There a regular public education campaigns on radios and in the newspapers and at schools. We also have town meetings in rural parishes.

Question
Has any one has ever developed breat cancer even after breast feeding

Answer
Yes.

Question
what cancer risk does oral sex pose?

Answer
There is no serious cancer risk associated with oral sex.

Question
Do a lot of Jamaican suffer from skin cancer?

Answer
No. It is very rare in darker skin people. It is number 5 in women and 6 in men.

Question
dose smoking cigarettes increase the risk of cancer

Answer
Yes. Not only lung cancer, but cancer of the mouth, bladder, stomach, colon and cervix.

Question
Are there any advantages offered by a breast surgeon Vs a general surgeon ? and how would one know if someone is a breast surgeon ?

Answer
In Jamaica all our breast surgeons are general surgeons unlike the USA where breast surgeons are different from general surgeons.

Question
In Canada they say that the mammograph is not so effective any more, so they are not recommending it anymore. comments?

Answer
In Canada they say the breast examination is not effective in reducing the number of deaths from breast cancer in the long term. This statement is still be debated.

Question
Can a baby or lover be adversely affected if cancer cells are acquired orally?

Answer
No. Cancer cells have proven to survive transmission from one person to the next.

Question
is there counselling for breast cancer victims?

Answer
Yes. The Jamaica Road to Recovery is support group located at Jamaica Cancer Society (876)927-4265.

Question
and how often should this self examination be done?

Answer
Breast examination should be done monthly and one week after period or at the same time each month. Mammography annual after age 40. Examination should be done by a doctor twice a year after age 25.

Question
may be stupid question but people with dark dark skin ..Do they have to wear sun lotion or are they less likely to get cancer than a ******?

Answer
They are less likely to get skin cancer but they should still wear sun screen to reduce the risk.

Question
JCS..statistically....what is the percentage of breast cancer in Jamaica in comparison to other countries...?

Answer
The incidences in Jamaica is 43.2 per 100,000. IN the USA is more than 100 per 100,000. However, in the USA majority of their breast cancer a detected early but in Jamaica it is not.

Question
I had a bloody discharge from my nipple and they did a duct canalization& lump removal 3 wks. ago. Can you tell me why the area around my nipple is still so hard? My doctor is off the island .

Answer
The hardness is due to scar inside the breast and this is normal and this will go away in time.

Question
Does Sun Tanning Nude,,,, affect the breast and cause cancer?

Answer
Sun tanning does not cause breast cancer.

Question
Is cancer more prevalent in developed countries than in developing countries?

Answer
Western countries have higher incidence of cancers such as colon, breast, skin and developing countries have higher risks of cervix, prostate.

Question
is there any risk of developing cervical cancer from an infection?

Answer
Only if it is human papilloma virus (HPV).

Question
does.... plastic surgery damage the breast and incline one the having breast cancer?

Answer
No.

Question
does the breast Cancer society of advice on breast replacement after the fact...

Answer
Yes.

Question
does JCS have a branch in western JA.?

Answer
Yes. In Montego Bay, St. Elizabeth and Manchester.

Question
Does nipple discharge indicate breast cancer ?

Answer
From bloody nipple about one in 10 may be associated with cancer.

Question
could a 17 year old girl have breast cancer

Answer
Yes but this extremely rare.

Question
How can women reduce there risk of breast cancer ?

Answer
Living a healthy life style and early detection through self examination, doctor's examination and mammography.

Question
Can sucking on the breast aggravate the risk of breast cancer

Answer
No.

Question
JCS....are there any assistance with buying of prostesis....for those who can not afford it.

Answer
Yes. The Cancer Society sells protesis where a woman cannot afford to pay assistance is given.

Question
Do people with big boobs have a higher risk of cancer than those with small ones

Answer
No.

Question
I know that this is on the WWW, but would it be possible for you to do it on the radio are television so others who do not have access to a computer can participate?

Answer
Yes we do. Tomorrow morning we will be on Power 106 from 6:15a.m. with Ronny Thwaites and during the month we have been on television and other radio stations.

Question
Does The Jamaican Private sector support the Cancer Programs in Jamaica?

Answer
Yes. The Cancer Society is funded only by Private Citizen and Private Companies and by the donations of professional time by doctors some of whom are here tonight.

Question
This Question is for Mr. Earl Jarrett Does Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) support the Cancer society Financially?

Answer
Yes.

Question
I have spoken to many men in Jamaica,and I noticed that the reluctance to be checked for prostate cancer,,varies as it relates to social and educational backgrounds

Answer
Yes. This so for all cancers. But specifically Jamaican men are afraid of the examination of the prostate through the rectum.

Question
so what your saying is that every time a female see blood coming from her nipple its cancer. Is that what your trying to tell me?

Answer
No but she should have it check every time.

Question
why does more black women Die from Breast Cancer than white women????

Answer
Yes mainly because less access to treatment of breast cancer.

Question
If cancer runs in my family mother, cousins and aunts, at what age should I start have mammograms and how frequently?

Answer
At age 35 or ten years less than the earliest member of the family who had cancer.

Question
What is the real cause of breast cancer?

Answer
There are many factors associated with breast cancer.

Question
what are the chances of improving your fight against breast cancer through change in eating habits?

Answer
What is proven reducing fat intake after menopause and encouraging healthy life style with exercise and avoid obesity.

Question
after breast cancer which other form is deadly in Jamaica?

Answer
For women cancer of the cervix is the second leading cancer of women but cancer of the lung accounts for more deaths.

Question
can breast cancer occur without a lump?

Answer
Yes.

Question
Could a breast implant rupture lead to the the development of breast cancer?

Answer
There are no proven association with implant rupture and breast cancer.

Question
It is my experience that checking of Prostate via the rectum is not the only method available..what other means have the medical profession in Jamaica explored?

Answer
There are some blood test that are used such as PSA, ultra sound.

Question
I have very large Breast and sometimes they hurt should I be worried?

Answer
The pain may due to the size of the breast and pain is not common symptom of breast cancer.

Question
I heard that cancer can develop in a person after a cell mutates caused by a cut , or bruise but that it takes years before that happens. So a injury in your early years could be the the reason for having some form of cancer n later years. Is that true?

Answer
No.

Question
is there an educational program going to teach women how to check their and how often

Answer
Yes there are educational programme conducted by the Jamaica Cancer Society which teach women how to examine themselves.

Question
what do u think about the treatment "tamoxifin".. is it best to take this potent drug when first learning that u have cancer? and does it better your odds taken something that patent for the first treatment ?

Answer
Tacoxifin is a useful drug for cancer of the breast and only offer by specialist .

Thank you
Thank you for participating in this first Internet chat . We hope we have answered most of your questions satisfactorily.


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