Many persons have cancer and don’t even know it, Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Ronnie Skelton said in a message in observance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Hon. Skelton announced that life-threatening diseases like cancer do not discriminate between the rich and the poor, but the poor are more likely to die of cancer.
“The sad truth is there are people who are walking around with cancer and don’t even know it, because they can’t afford mammograms or other diagnostic tests. Some may even prefer not to find out, fearing that they cannot afford expensive medical treatments that could save their lives. That should not happen in the Virgin Islands,” the Minister stated.
In this regard the Minister of Health said that the community needs to band together to fight cancer. “To give us a fighting chance against cancers and other chronic diseases, the Virgin Islands Health and Wellness Advisory Council is mobilizing the entire community to eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; moderate the use of alcohol; increase physical activity; reduce stress; avoid cigarette smoke and other pollutants; and get regular check-ups. By banding together we can support each other to make the lifestyle changes that will help create a healthier Virgin Islands,” Hon. Skelton said.
The Minister further explained that some cancers can be diagnosed at an early stage, before they have a chance to grow and spread. “If breast cancer is detected early, it is less expensive to treat, and far easier to cure…That is why this Government has made it a high priority to ensure that every person living in the Virgin Islands has affordable access to healthcare whenever they need it,” he added.