Help us save women like Yvette

By BRITTANY KEMP and MICHELLE GREENE BREAST cancer has torn apart countless lives in the Bahamas, a fact Yvette Cargill knows well - not just as the former president of the Sister Sister support group, but also as a survivor of the disease. She was diagnosed on July 27, 2000 at the age of 38, and underwent surgery on August 5, 2000, followed by a radical mastectomy of her left breast and four cycles of chemotherapy between September and December. She said: "Along with the hair loss, the thinning skin, loss of bodily fluids, black spots in your mouth, palms and fingernails; the lack of energy, constipation, loss of appetite and darkening of skin, life was pretty much what it was going to be." Yvette made it through this ordeal, and has been cancer-free for a decade. She believes she owes her survival to the love and support of her friends and family, and her determination to fight the disease. "Cancer does not define my greatness, nor does it shape my future," she said, adding that upon being diagnosed, she set to work right away - learning as much as possible about the condition and surrounding herself with positive energy. The Bahamas has the highest breast cancer rate in the world, and one in four Bahamian women will face the same struggle as Yvette - some at a much earlier age. The Tribune is working hard to make sure they are diagnosed as early as possible, and have the best possible chance of surviving. We have launched a campaign to replace the obsolete mammogram machine at the Princess Margaret Hospital so every Bahamian mother, daughter and sister can have a fighting chance against the deadly disease. Please support the "Caring for Breasts Campaign" and help us save lives. * See pages 10 and 11 for more information


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