SDA Church and Medical Doctor Host Breast Cancer Awareness Program

28 Oct 2018 | NCC Staff

The Women’s Ministries Department of the Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Church, on St. Thomas, joined advocates across the world in recognizing October as Breast Cancer Awareness month, by hosting a community awareness-raising feature during its Adventist Youth program.

In October, major breast cancer charities, worldwide, seek opportunities to put breast cancer issues in the spotlight by sharing information, and to raise funds for research, diagnosis, treatment and cure for breast cancer.

Dr. Madel Villegas who is affiliated with the East End Medical Center on St. Thomas was the feature presenter. During her content-rich presentation, entitled, “Basics in Breast Cancer,” she discussed risk factors, signs and symptoms of breast cancer and provided statistics surrounding cancer incidence and mortality. She emphasized the importance of regular screening to detect changes in breast tissue and alerted men that they, also, can be affected by breast cancer.

Dr. Villegas introduced attendees to an online Breast Cancer Risk Assessment tool ( which estimates a woman’s risk of developing invasive breast cancer over the next 5 years, and up to age 90. The Women’s Ministries Director, Sister Sonia Elie, graciously consented to undergo the assessment to demonstrate its ease. 

As one survivor related her journey, she described her struggle to accept the diagnosis, the courage to fight for life and coping for the last five years after learning that the cancer was in remission. She reiterated that her faith and family were critical factors in her survival. Her powerful testimony opened an engaging dialogue during a segment for questions and answers.

A healthy attitude and body are key to surviving any illness and in addition to providing wellness nuggets, Sister Rolda Mason promoted the NEWSTART Lifestyle Program as an asset to healthy living.  She outlined how health could be positively impacted if the principles of this program were to be incorporated into a person’s lifestyle.

During the closing exercise, attendees united their voices in song and stood with lit candles held aloft, in a symbolic pledge to light the world for this cause.



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