WILLEMSTAD - Since November 20 last year, Fundashon Prevenshon (FP) has had a new mammography machine, a machine that will enable many women have to have preventative breast screenings made in the coming years, free of charge. The machine is already in use but will be symbolically gifted to FP during a reception on February 14th, 2019, in the presence of sponsors and guests. The purchase of the mammography machine (f 655,200) has been made possible through very generous sponsorships provided by: Orco Bank, Princess Wilhelmina Foundation, Rotary Foundation, and by various Rotary Clubs throughout the Kingdom and in Jamaica. In addition, the project has received financial support from various individuals, foundations and companies from Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands and Suriname. There is a big lack of awareness about the need for preventive breast screenings. FP is collaborating with the two Rotary Clubs in Curaçao to create an informational campaign to encourage women between 45-75 years of age to get a preventative mammogram made.
'The unknown creates fear'
This certainly applies to the many women who, due to lack of knowledge or fear, do not respond to FP's invitation to get a preventive mammogram made. Based on information supplied by Kranchi, FP invites women between the ages of 45 and 75 to get a mammogram made every two years, free of charge. Approximately 50% of the guests eventually come for a scan. Many women are not only afraid of the results of the exam, but also of the pain that the mammogram causes. When developing new generations of mammography machines, a lot thought has gone into trying to minimize the unpleasant experience for women who are getting mammograms made. The scans made by the new machines are less uncomfortable, provide more accurate results and are easier to use. There is a lot of confusion among the target population about the necessity of getting a mammography. A lot of the women do not realize that diagnosing breast cancer much later in its development can have life-threatening consequences and can therefore have a major impact on their family life and their environment. The informational campaign focuses on encouraging women to get a mammogram. Taking care of one another is one of the cornerstones of the Curaçao community. That is why it would be wonderful if mothers and daughters would encourage each other by responding to FP's mammogram invitation. FP even has a shuttle to pick up women from Banda Riba to Banda Bou and bring them back home after the exam.
A mammography is a scan of the breast and is made to detect abnormalities. The study detects breast cancer early, even before women have any complaints or the breast cancer can be felt and/or is visible. The chance of metastases becomes smaller and possible treatments become more effective and less intensive and taxing on the body. Recent figures show that early detection of breast cancer increases the chances of being cured. The new mammography machine can create a three-dimensional image of the breast tissue and takes photos from different angles. The advantage over a two-dimensional image (which the previous machine created) is that irregularities are found even earlier. The full exam takes about 15 minutes. The physician reads the results and discusses them with the patient. If there is any doubt or anything abnormal is found, a second mammogram will be made, the physician will take a closer look at the site in question and may also make an ultrasound or an MRI made.
Along with the famous banker, the late Lio Capriles, Prof. dr. Dr. Bob Pinedo founded Fundashon Prevenshon in2009. Prof. dr. Dr. Pinedo has an impressive résumé and has received many awards in the field of clinical oncology, cancer therapy and cancer patient care. He is still a practicing oncologist. His impressive track record did not go unnoticed, and the titles of "Knight in the Order of Lion of the Netherlands" and "Commander in the Order of Orange Nassau" were awarded to him. At FP, a special, professionally trained team consisting of medical imaging and radiation technicians and screening technicians, is available every day to help reassure women and to make their mammography experience as pleasant as possible. The team members regularly receive continuing education and are always up to date on the latest techniques and developments. In May 2019, FP will change location and move to the former police station at Molenplein. From this beautiful location, the organization hopes to welcome many women who have decided to take charge of their own health by getting regular preventative breast screenings made.