Thu | Jun 4, 2020

Gov't senator IDs cellphone as possible cause for her cancer, highlights growing diagnoses

Published:Friday | November 9, 2018 | 12:00 AMLivern Barrett/ Senior Parliamentary Reporter
Government Senator Dr Saphire Longmore

Government Senator Dr Saphire Longmore says 7,348 new cases of cancer have been diagnosed in Jamaica since the start of the year.

The most common cases, according to Longmore - a breast cancer survivor - are prostate, breast, colon, lung, uterine, cervical and stomach cancers.

“The persons usually affected are in their peak productive years and often times are significant contributors to family and community,” she said during her contribution to the State of the Nation Debate in the Senate today.

Longmore said she believes her cellphone played a role in her diagnosis.

“I had been potty-training my kids for two years before that and I would fall asleep with the phone close to me and my affected side. I’m saying this here because of how tied we are to our cellular technologies,” she shared.

“We don’t know the full effects and we don’t know how we and our children might be impacted. Let us begin to make ourselves technology-free, even for a moment, for our health,” Longmore posited.

The lawmaker and beauty queen noted that public awareness of the need for cancer screening is at an all-time high in Jamaica, but underscored that self-awareness and “seeking out answers quickly” are the best form of screening.

She praised the government for establishing the National Cancer Treatment Centre at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in St James, but said “there is great need for coordination and collaboration between services treating cancer patients.”

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