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One Eleuthera Foundation to launch breast cancer screening

Published: Dec 09, 2016

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A free breast cancer screening program for thousands of at-risk women on Eleuthera, Cat Island, Long Island and Exuma will launch in early 2017.

The program is a partnership between the One Eleuthera Foundation, the Cancer Society of The Bahamas, the Cancer Society of Eleuthera, and the Rotary Club of Eleuthera.

It will provide mammography and ultrasound screening

The Cancer Society of Eleuthera is leading the program and screenings will take place weekly at its wellness center in Palmetto Point.

One Eleuthera Foundation was formed in 2012 to promote sustainable community development. Felix Stubbs is the chairman and Shaun Ingraham is the chief executive officer.

“Our goal is to strengthen our communities by investing in high-quality projects that promote economic and social development and that are environmentally sustainable,” Ingraham said. “Breast cancer is a serious health issue in The Bahamas and we are dedicating significant resources to help."

The Bahamas ranks among the top 20 countries in the world in terms of the number of women with breast cancer. Nine percent of Bahamian women have the potentially deadly disease. And it is the most common form of cancer affecting Bahamian women.

A 2013 survey initiated by the foundation - in conjunction with Emory University of Atlanta, the Rotary Club of Eleuthera and the Cancer Society of Eleuthera - identified 3,000 women on Eleuthera alone who need annual screening for breast cancer.

Ride for Hope, a charity cycling event, has been providing free annual mammogram screenings to about 45 women per year from the island for several years.

But after the 2013 survey, One Eleuthera Foundation began developing its own breast cancer screening, education and support program to help make up the shortfall.

The outreach component of the program is partly funded by a grant from Susan G. Komen, the largest breast cancer organization in the United States.

Mammography and ultrasound facilities will be placed in the Palmetto Point Wellness Centre on Eleuthera. And over $230,000 has been raised to support the program to date.

Additionally, USNORTHCOM (which co-ordinates U.S. homeland defense) has donated a mammogram machine to the Eleuthera Imaging Programme through the United States Embassy in Nassau. This gift will be facilitated by the government, which is also providing an administrator and technician for the screening facility.

The foundation is also working with local and international Rotary clubs, as well as other partners, to finance the ultrasound component of the project and to expand breast cancer education and outreach.

One Eleuthera Foundation is a Bahamian non-profit organization committed to sustainable development on the island of Eleuthera. Its role is to find the resources needed to effect positive change in education, health, culture, heritage, the economy and the environment.

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