A team of breast cancer specialists will be here next week and the week after, and the early part of the second week is being set aside for women from the pa enua.
The Ministry of Health will be getting in touch with leaders from the visiting outer island groups to give them more information. But from Monday week –July 27, pa enua women should watch out for a little green bus, which will be providing free transport for women from the area of the outer island hostels, to and from the hospital.
Women, who are under 40 but think they may be having breast problems or have a history of breast cancer in their family, should take the opportunity for tests too.
The group of women breast specialists from Australia have been visiting Rarotonga, taking annual leave from their regular jobs to carry out breast checks for six years now.
For the first part of next week they will be seeing women they’ve seen before and have asked to come back for further checks. Those women should have been contacted by now – or will be shortly – for a recall, and given an appointment time.
The latter part of next week is for ‘first time’ mammogramers from Rarotonga.
The president of the Cook Islands Breast Cancer Foundation – Jaewynn McKay – says all women over 40 or women under that age with a family history of breast issues should make arrangements to be checked out next week.
“This wonderful team of women from Australia has been giving up their annual leave to come here and carry out these simple and non-invasive checks. There is nothing they enjoy more than to see us take up their generous offer of having these checks.”
“Both the Breast Cancer Foundation and the Ministry of Health are urging women in the susceptible age group, or from susceptible families, to come forward. So make an appointment and please keep it! If you have trouble getting to your appointment, please let us know as we might be able to help you get there.”
“Breast cancer is a hideous disease. But early detection and treatment greatly increases the chance of affected women living much longer to enjoy, and be enjoyed by their families.”
For more information or to make an appointment please phone Rarotonga hospital on 22 664.
The CIBCF is a non-profit organisation that exists to raise awareness of breast cancer and to encourage and assist women (especially those from the Pa Enua) in having regular mammograms.
A screening mammogram can help detect breast cancer early, well before a lump can be seen or felt. A mammogram is a safe low dose x-ray of the breast tissue.
Finding breast cancer early allows for better treatment options and improves your chances of long term survival.
This year is the sixth year the Foundation has assisted the Ministry of Health in bringing women from Pa Enua to Rarotonga.
And while CIBCF was formed to help women avoid and fight breast cancer, we urge our menfolk to be mindful of their health too and to have early and regular checks for prostate cancer.
Our Cook Islands families need all our mamas and papas for as long as possible!