World Cancer Day will be marked for the second time in Hay River on Feb. 4.
Hay River Health and Social Services Authority, in conjunction with the Hay River Seniors’ Society, will host a display at the Don Stewart Recreation Centre on that day.
Last year, the authority put on a display sponsored by the GNWT’s Department of Health and Social Services, said Judy Steele, supervisor for the public health division of the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority.
“They’re trying to get more cancer awareness in terms of diagnosis, getting more people screened for cancer. And the more screened, hopefully earlier diagnosis and earlier treatment.”
Steele said another goal of the display is to explain the pathways of cancer treatment.
She explained that “cancer” is one word that refers to a whole lot of different illnesses.
“At their base, cancer relates to cells that have gone awry. They’re not dividing properly and they’re causing issues,” she said, adding that there are very streamlined, very specific treatments for the various types of cancers.
“And some can be treated in Yellowknife, some of it can be treated here locally in Hay River, some you have to go out to Edmonton,” she said. “People sometimes don’t know where to go to get those answers.”
In addition to providing information on the various types of cancers and their treatments, the display will promote the idea of creating a cancer support group in Hay River.
Bruce Green, a board member of the Hay River Seniors’ Society, had approached the health authority on behalf of the society with the idea of starting such a group.
“I had been doing some reading about the importance of support groups in making the situation a lot better and a lot easier for people who have been diagnosed with cancer, and we don’t have anything like that operating in the community at the moment,” he said. “So it sounded like a good thing to look into.”
Green said World Cancer Day will be used as an opportunity to get the message out about the idea.
“The society members that I’ve talked to seem to think that this would be a worthwhile objective,” he said.
A representative of Public the health authority and a member of the Hay River Seniors’ Society will man the display at the rec centre on World Cancer Day.
The display will be set up from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 4 in the main lobby of the centre.