John King (left) as he discussed the Barbados Cancer Society’s objectives with this curious customer.

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Men championing breast cancer awareness

More men are coming out in their numbers as supporters and advocates in the fight against breast cancer.

During the Barbados Cancer Society’s Breast Screening Programme’s annual pink ribbon fund-raiser, which was held at Sheraton Mall yesterday, Dr. Shirley Jhagroo, Medical Coordinator, told The Barbados Advocate that more men were coming out and supporting; more than they would have done in the past.

“Years ago, men were afraid when a woman got breast cancer, and they couldn’t cope with it; but now that they’re being educated about the cancers, they are sticking around and being extremely supportive,” she said.

John King, who was playing the role of advocate for the Breast Screening Programme, revealed that he decided to become involved with raising awareness for the cause because he believed it is important for men to be there for women.

“Over the years, it became important for me to learn as much as humanly possible about the condition, and that has done me well.

“It makes it easier to be supportive towards something that I learned much about,” he said.

“It’s really about women and giving them all the support, and as you go along, you realise that men too can get breast cancer, so it’s important that we support.”

Meanwhile, Ryan Straughn, Barbados Labour Party candidate for Christ Church East Central, disclosed that the reason he was such a champion for breast cancer awareness was because his grandmother died as a result of it years ago.

During that sad time, Straughn noted that not many people spoke about the cancer and he was unaware of the many different cancers and their effects. He noted that this has changed over the years, through the awareness campaigns and other initiatives by the Barbados Cancer Society.

“So I jump to give any support I can give to raise awareness on the cancers, and other cancers in general, in men and women,” he said.

He added that he was particularly interested in raising awareness of cancers in men as they often do not have very good “health seeking tendencies”.

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