October 27, 2014
Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease, is observed in many countries worldwide. In St. Maarten, American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) plays a key role in assisting local awareness efforts and making complimentary screenings available to those most in need.
This year, members of the AUC community took part in the fifth annual Pink Parade. This parade, organized by the Positive Foundation, recognizes those who have lost their lives to breast cancer, those who have survived it and those who are still engaged in the struggle.
“AUC and its students have played an integral part in the breast cancer awareness movement in St. Maarten for over 15 years,” said Shelly Alphonso, Positive Foundation president. “They have supported our parade from its inception five years ago, and we continue to count on their assistance with breast self-examination demonstrations.”
The Positive Foundation’s primary goal is to ensure that women in St. Maarten are aware that early detection of breast cancer through regular breast self-examinations, scheduled mammograms and clinical breast examination can greatly increase early detection of breast cancer and improve the odds of recovery and survival.
Naira Chobanyan, M.D., Ph.D., Sc.D, AUC associate professor of clinical medicine and internationally known breast cancer researcher, trained the team of AUC physicians-in-training who provided breast self-examinations at the St. Maarten Medical Center and the Dutch Quarter Medical Center. Complimentary clinical breast exams and mammogram vouchers for uninsured residents were also offered.
“Volunteering with the Positive Foundation was a valuable opportunity for us to not only use some of the skills and knowledge we have as medial students, but also to hopefully make a difference in the community,” said Patricia Kindsvater, fourth semester medical sciences student. “We interacted on a personal level with others to promote and facilitate health and wellness, which reinforced the reasons we decided to become physicians.”
Take a look at photos from the Breat Cancer Awarness events by clicking here.