The Breast Health & Oncology Care Centre was today opened at the Andrews Memorial Hospital (AMH), the first of its kind at the Hope Road, Kingston facility and a response to the lack of a “centralized area” at which breast cancer patients can be treated.
Opened on World Cancer Awareness Day, the Care Centre is a “multi-disciplinary unit” and a ‘one-stop’ location for services related to breast health. It was opened by the head of the unit, breast surgical oncologist Dr Jason Copeland, who said the entity is “a shared vision and partnership between the Breast Health & Oncology Care Centre and the Andrews Memorial Hospital.” It will be offering “integrated specialists to treat our patients with breast cancer. We will have surgical oncology, medical oncology, and reconstructive services. We will also have affiliated services such as clinical psychology, physiotherapy,” among others, he added.
Dr Copeland said “Breast cancer is the number one cancer affecting women in Jamaica. It is the cause of the highest morbidity and mortality rate.” He further explained that “data from the Global Cancer Observatory published as recently as December of last year, actually shows that the incidents and mortality of breast cancer in Jamaica have gone up very sharply in the last two years. Part of the solution is to have a dedicated breast treatment unit such as the Breast Health & Oncology Care Centre.”
In speaking on the hospital’s behalf, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance Mr Donmayne Gyles said the opening of the unit is a further effort by the AMH to “enhance our service offerings.” He said the partnership has been launched to “help in the fight against cancer, and specifically, breast cancer.” He explained that with the opening of the Centre, “the Andrews Memorial Hospital is positioned to give even greater service to the wider community and Jamaica at large.” He added, “We have as part of our strategic plan to build on the services that we offer and to extend to a great extent our reach as it relates to managing various illnesses and disciplines.”