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May 15, 2017

Riding and Walking for Cancer Awareness

Laura Longsworth

May is half-gone, but two major activities are coming up in the promotion of Cancer Awareness Month. Cancer has been reported as the second leading cause of death in 2016, with prostate, breast and cervical cancer the chief culprits for men and women respectively. This coming weekend is the Cancer Ride to benefit awareness of prostate cancer in men, while the popular Cancer Walk from Ladyville to Belize City takes place on May twenty-seventh. But there are activities going on across the country, according to president of the Belize Cancer Society, Nurse Laura Longsworth.

 

Laura Longsworth, President, Belize Cancer Society

“The theme for Cancer Awareness Month this year is “Improving Access to Cancer Care.” The Cancer Society has been playing a very low-key role, but have been working tirelessly in the background. While we have activities across the country – for instance, today, May thirteenth, there were two walks, one in Dangriga and one in Belmopan; the annual walk takes place at the end of this month, on the twenty-seventh; but in-between that which would be next week, the twentieth, next week Saturday – we have the second annual Cancer Challenge Ride and that is like an amazing ride to raise awareness about prostate cancer. We have some women who ride but there are mostly men; and so the message to the country is look at the struggle – they ride from Dangriga through the hills to Cayo, they rest one night, and then they ride from Benque to Belize City, to in solidarity with those who have to do that hard journey for cancer.”

 

In association with various agencies and the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children, the Society has been working to create opportunities for education of health professionals in oncology, the study of cancer, and to build a Cancer Care Excellence Center. The latter is in conjunction with the International Atomic Energy Agency, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which have done impact studies in cancer incidents, prevalence and standard of care.

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