Caring & Sharing
The Cancer Society offers education, health care, counseling and support.
From its formation in 1976 until 1986, cancer patients were able to apply for financial assistance from the Society if medical treatment was needed abroad. However, in 1986, due to the exorbitant medical costs involved, a policy decision was made to discontinue financial assistance to individual patients and instead channel funds towards improving equipment and facilities for cancer detection and treatment at the Princess Margaret Hospital, as well as to intensify public educational programmes about cancer.
The Society has since made several donations:
- mammogram machine
- protective hood and apparatus for the safe mixing of chemotherapy drugs
- port-a-cath implant systems for chemotherapy patients
- educational scholarships
In 1991, the Society furnished and equipped a modern Oncology Unit on the grounds of the Princess Margaret Hospital for the purpose of administering chemotherapy treatments.
May is the official Cancer Awareness Month when the Society places particular emphasis on Education with continual media exposure throughout the country. Cancer literature, T-shirts promoting non-smoking, videos and educational tools are all in evidence at this time.
Throughout the year, the services of the Society are used widely by public health workers, service groups and schools who invite speakers to talk about cancer and share the educational material which the Society keeps in large supply. The public is encouraged to make use of these services.
In February 1990, the Society, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health launched a National Pap Smear and Breast Screening Campaign throughout The Bahamas as a method of prevention and early detection, and to compile statistics of these cancers. Each month a team of volunteer doctors and nurses visit the Family Islands to carry out Pap Smears and Prostate Cancer Screening.
The Cancer Society continues its educational programme, increasing public awareness to all forms of cancer, the importance of screening for cancer of the cervix, breast and prostate as a method of prevention and early detection and treatment. The Society also plans to establish more Family Island Branches and to work closely with the Ministry of Health to develop a Cancer Registry in The Bahamas. It also is raising funds for the continued maintenance of a Cancer Care Centre.