The Cancer Society of the Bahamas is a non-profit, voluntary organization, committed to the awareness, education, prevention, research, advocacy, care and cure of cancer and is purposed to serve cancer patients, survivors and their families and persons at risk across The Bahamas.
The Cancer Society of The Bahamas is a non-profit organization established to serve the public through educational programs aimed at bringing awareness to early detection, prevention and treatment of cancer while providing temporary accommodations, as well as social and emotional needs for cancer patients in a peaceful, secure and supportive environment. Our headquarters is located in East Terrace, Centreville (2 Doors South of ZNS) with thirteen (13) Branches throughout the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
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The Cancer Society of The Bahamas was formed in 1976 by Mrs. Susan K. Roberts, wife of the late Noel Sawyer Roberts, on the medical advice of Dr. John Lunn, Medical Oncologist of Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH), Nassau, Bahamas.
On November 30th, 1979 Parliament approved the business license for the Cancer Society of The Bahamas as a Non-Profit Organization
(see The Companies Act: Chapter 184 Section 59).
- Mrs. Susan Roberts – Chairperson
- Mrs. Susan Andrews – Secretary
- Mr. Walter Wells -Treasurer
- Mrs. Yolanda Roberts – Fundraising Co-Chairperson
- Mrs. Francise Christie – Fundraising Co-Chairperson
- Ms. Patricia “Patsy” Lightbourne – Fundraising Co-Chairperson
In 1980 with the support and donations of businesses, corporations, organizations, churches, civic groups, the private sector and the Fundraising Committee, the Cancer Society of The Bahamas was able to donate a much needed fibre-optic bronchoscope to the Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) Nassau, Bahamas. The bronchoscope is made of a flexible fiber-optic material and has a light source and a camera on the end which is used to examine your airways to detect the cause of breathing difficulties and lung problems, such as tumors, infection, and bleeding. In that same year, 23 years old Ms. Judy Ann Ward was given a two-year scholarship in the field of Cytotechnology at the University of Miami’s School of Medicine.
Ten years later in May 1990, by Proclamation from the Prime Minister, The Right Honorable Sir Lynden O. Pindling, of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, established that the month of “May “be observed as “Cancer Awareness Month“ in The Bahamas. To this day, the Cancer Society use this month to bring awareness to all types of cancer through various media outlets and educational and social events concluding with our signature Annual Gala Ball.
The Cancer Society accomplishes this mandate through awareness programs such as; extensive cancer educational activities and programs, healthy lifestyle seminars and literature, promotions and media saturation, Free Breast Screening and PAP Smear clinics, as well as Prostate exams and PSA Testing for men throughout the islands of the Bahamas. To date, the general public is strongly urged to support the continued awareness campaign of early detection and prevention saves lives.
On September 13, 1991, after a 12-year plea, the Cancer Society of the Bahamas headed by its President at that time, Mrs. Pamela Burnside, was instrumental in urging the Government of the Bahamas and the Managing authority of the Princess Margaret Hospital in establishing the first ever medical unit for cancer patients at the Princess Margaret Hospital, known as the Oncology Clinic. This unit was founded in “memory of” the late Dr. Ivor Fix of Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami, Florida, USA, who worked with cancer patients at PMH in Nassau, Bahamas. The purpose of the unit, which is still in operation today, is to treat persons afflicted with cancer.
To further facilitate this new Oncology unit, the Cancer Society donated the first radiographic mammogram machine in the entire Bahamas through extensive fund-raising efforts. This machine which at the time cost over $50,000 was a milestone in the fight against cancer for the Bahamian people. It must be stated that a lot of souse was sold to make this dream a reality.
Other items that were donated to the Oncology Clinic by the Cancer Society in order to meet the demands and safety requirements of Cancer care were; a “protective hood” which is used for the safe mixing of cancer drugs, as well as venous access devises such as port-a-cathsto facilitate safer, more effective chemotherapy treatments.
Over the years the Cancer Society saw the increasing need for skilled staffing at the Oncology Clinic and therefore provided scholarships which were awarded to Bahamians to study Oncology Nursing and conduct researches abroad.
August 2004, the Cancer Society of The Bahamas accomplished another major milestone by completing the construction of the Cancer Caring Centre, which is an extension of the Cancer Society services offered to the Bahamian public. The Cancer Caring Centre (CCC) is the first facility of its kind in The Bahamas providing temporary accommodations free of charge to Bahamians from the Family Islands undergoing active cancer treatments in Nassau. The Cancer Society recognized the importance of this facility to not only meet the housing requirements of cancer patients but also to provide social and emotional needs in a peaceful, secure and supportive environment. This dream became reality through the overwhelming assistance of so many persons and organizations in the community.
To expand the reach of the organization and provide local assistance to the residents of the Family Islands, Branches of the Cancer Society of The Bahamas were then established, each with their own Executive Committee. READ MORE ON CSOB BRANCHES.
Below are highlights of some of the many contributions that the Cancer Society of The Bahamas has made over the years and hopefully into the future regarding assistance to combat cancer in The Bahamas: