Liberian Cancer Society Hosts Breast Cancer Awareness Screenings for AFL

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Participants urged to eat healthily, do regular checkups

The Liberian Cancer Society (LCS) has completed a free screening and awareness on breast cancer for the men and women of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL). 

The LCS, founded in 1977, is the country’s first organization committed to creating awareness and educating the public about prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all forms of cancer.

In addition to building awareness, the LCS is also committed to assisting patients with the cost of their treatment wherever possible.

The multi-colored looped ribbon symbolizes the many forms of cancer affecting all people that the LCS is committed to helping.

The one-day breast cancer screening, which took place at the Edward Beyan Kesselly (EBK) Barracks in Schiefflin, Margibi County on Friday, October 30, was done in partnership with the Public Health Initiative Liberia (PHIL) and Jahmale Medical Solutions.

It was heavily supported and graced by a number of high ranking officers of the AFL, including its Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Prince C. Johnson III; Col. Theophilus A. Dana, 2nd Commander; as well as Lt. Col. Kezellee Gweso, Deputy Commanding Officer.

Dana Hilton Van Ee, president of the LCS, who spoke before the screenings exercise, explained that cancer is a serious disease that can be treated, adding that the earlier it is diagnosed and treated, the better the chance of a cure.

The LCS president, who described herself as a warrior in the battle against cancer, said breast cancer starts when cells start to grow out of control and form a tumor or knot.

She said that the signs of breast cancer include a hard knot anywhere in the breast, swelling, thickening, or dimpling of the skin (looks like an orange peel), nipple drainage, and nipple retraction. 

“Cancer typically does not cause pain, but the pain sometimes occurs around cancer, so it’s important to get examined. We want to help the community by raising awareness of breast cancer, the need for yearly exams, and let everyone know about the treatment options that we have in the country,” Ms. Van Ee said.

She then encouraged the participants to get used to doing regular checks of their bodies. She added that women are more at risk of getting cancer than men.

The Executive Director of PHIL, Ms. Joyce Laykah Kilikpo, also present, reiterated that women ought to test themselves regularly. According to her, cancer is not a death sentence, and this is why “we have invested a lot to carry out this awareness to ensure that women are free of breast cancer.”

For his part, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Maj. Gen. Prince C. Johnson, III, also pledged his support to the LCS family for their tireless efforts in creating awareness of breast cancer.

Maj. General Johnson further expressed the AFL’s willingness to join the LCS efforts in creating more awareness. He stated that the AFL is looking forward to the Liberian Cancer Society replicating a similar intervention for all the Army’s 11 barracks nationwide.

In response, the Liberian Cancer Society thanked the Chief of Staff for the warm reception and the trust imparted for LCS to be able to work to sensitize the AFL staff and dependents on the deadly effects of cancer and how to prevent cancer deaths.

Several of the beneficiaries who attended the cancer screening exercise used the occasion to express their appreciation of the LCS family for allowing them to do their breast cancer screening.

Mrs. Thelma Fanning, who also did her test and emerged with a cancer-free diagnosis, told the Daily Observer that she was so grateful for the training because she learned a lot of things when it comes to cancer treatment and prevention.

She added that the LCS exercise taught them how to know about their body, as well as the food they consume daily.

Mrs. Fanning then promised the LCS family that the knowledge acquired from the event will be used to educate others who were unable to attend.

In another development, The LCS will, on November 28, 2020, host its annual dinner fundraiser and musical extravaganza, at the Royal Grand Hotel in Sinkor.

For information regarding the dinner, interested parties are asked to contact the Liberian Cancer Society via mobile numbers: 0555226237 or 0778226237.

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