The just ended Liberian Cancer Society (LCS) free breast screening done in partnership with the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Cooper Hospital has reportedly discovered dozens of women with late and early stages of breast cancer.
Fifty (50) women were screened for breast cancer on October 22 at the SDA Cooper Hospital under the direction of Dr. Gillian Seton. Unfortunately, half of the participants were discovered with stage 3 breast cancer, with a few in the early stages of cancer.
Dr. Dawn Cooper Barnes, President of LCS, noted that when breast cancer is in an advanced stage like stage 3, it means that the breast cancer has extended beyond the immediate region of the tumor and may have invaded nearby lymph nodes and muscles, but may not have spread to distant organs.
“Although this stage is considered to be advanced, there are a growing number of effective treatment options, but we don’t have most of the equipment for that.
“This stage is divided into three groups: Stage 3A, Stage 3B, and Stage 3C. The difference is determined by the size of the tumor and whether cancer has spread to the lymph nodes and surrounding tissue,” Dr. Barnes explained.
Barnes added that early stage cancer is a non-invasive cancer where abnormal cells have been found in the lining of the breast milk duct.
“In this stage, the breast cancer has not typically spread outside of the ducts or lobules into the surrounding breast tissue. This is very early cancer that is highly treatable, but if it’s left untreated or undetected, it can spread into the surrounding breast tissue,” she said.
Dr. Barnes said LCS will appeal to the Ministry of Health so that more health professionals in hospitals across Liberia will agree to get trained and provide free breast cancer screenings at least once a year.
“The goal of Liberian Cancer Society is to raise awareness and provide support, wherever possible, to victims of all forms of cancer,” she said.
Meanwhile, Dr. Seton said based on the needs identified there will be quarterly screenings at SDA Cooper Hospital.
Dr. Seton said, “Every three months on a Sunday, we will conduct free breast cancer screenings to help save more women’s lives and create awareness about cancer.”