Just being a woman is the biggest risk factor for developing breast cancer. In a published article some years ago, US-based Oncology Surgeon, Dr Theophilus Lewis pointed out that all women are at risk for breast cancer, since the risks associated with contracting the disease are not controllable.This worrying pronouncement was made during a seminar held right here in Guyana, which was spearheaded by US-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Organisation for Social and Health Advancement in Guyana (OSHAG).Most notably, it was revealed that age and family history are among the biggest risk factors for contracting the disease. According to the Surgeon, where the incidence of a young woman contracting the disease in her 30s is very small – 0.4 per cent— he is currently treating five patients, all under 30 years, for the disease. A rather unusual occurrence, according to the Oncologist.This grabs the attention since the focus on breast cancer usually starts when a woman turns 40; it was explained too that after this age, the incidence of contracting breast cancer doubles, going from 0.4-1.46. With each passing decade, the risk factor increases; hence, age is one of the primary risk factors for breast cancer.One of the other important points highlighted was that oestrogen is a driver for breast cancer and what this means is that once a woman has a long exposure to oestrogen, which is not interrupted by pregnancies, then the risk factor for developing breast cancer becomes greater.Oestrogen can be defined as a female steroid hormone that is produced by the ovaries and, in lesser amounts, by the adrenal cortex, placenta, and male testes. Oestrogen helps control and guide sexual development, including the physical changes associated with puberty.This risk is especially pronounced in women who have menstruated very early (9 or 10 years old) and who menstruate into their 50s, and would have been exposed to oestrogen for many years. If, however, the years of exposure are broken up by pregnancies, this increased risk is considerably reduced, Dr Lewis said, even as he pointed out that a pregnancy is regarded as a protective period.It was also explained that a woman who conceives and gives birth after the age of 34 or 35 will likely lose the protection from oestrogen by that age, and will also be at high risk of developing cancer.It is not usual for young women to develop breast cancer at a young age; when a woman is young, oestrogen stores in the fat. The more obese a woman is, the more fat she is likely to be able to store. But although a woman stops making oestrogen when she is older and begins menopause, the oestrogen already stored in the fat makes them more at risk for developing cancer.For this reason, Dr Lewis noted that developing breast cancer is not necessarily impacted by what you eat, but due to the amount of oestrogen you are able to store because of being overweight. Other risk factors include family history.Women with close relatives who’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer have a higher risk of developing the disease. If you’ve had one first-degree female relative (sister, mother, daughter) diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk is doubled.Among the other risk factors, research suggests that women with low levels of vitamin D have a higher risk of breast cancer. Vitamin D may play a role in controlling normal breast cell growth and may be able to stop breast cancer cells from growing.Every woman wants to know what she can do to lower her risk of breast cancer. Some of the factors associated with breast cancer –being a woman, your age, and your genetics, for example – can’t be changed. Other factors –being overweight, lack of exercise, smoking cigarettes, and eating unhealthy food – can be changed by making choices. By choosing the healthiest lifestyle options possible, you can empower yourself and make sure your breast cancer risk is as low as possible.
…says not a casino, no need for a licenceBy way of an order issued on June 8 last, the Gaming Authority has directed the popular sports betting/gaming service Superbet — Surinamese company Pasha Gaming Group operating locally through a subsidiary, Guiana Holdings Inc. — “to suspend immediately all internet gambling, sports betting and/or lotteries, and any other form of gambling whatsoever and wheresoever (located) in the State of Guyana, until further notice.”This order purportedly falls under the Gambling Prevention Act, Chapter 9:02 of the Laws of Guyana.The Gaming Authority had also requested intervention of the Guyana Police Force’s Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) and the Guyana Revenue Authority in this matter.This publication understands that the Gaming Authority had, for some time now, been looking into the operations of the betting service; and had, last March, requested the company to produce the relevant permission or licence authorizing it to conduct internet gambling, sports betting or lotteries locally.The Gaming Authority had also demanded to see Superbet’s Articles of Incorporation and other registration information, and had been so facilitated.The company reportedly never produced a licence, and this has reportedly caused the Gaming Authority to issue the shutdown order. The Gaming Authority of Guyana is a statutory body established under the Gambling Prevention Act of Guyana, and is vested with the power to regulate Casino operations in the country. It is headed by a Chairman, Attorney-at-Law Roysdale Forde, and its board members are Christine King, George Vaughn and former magistrate Geeta Chandan-Edmond.ResponseBut the company Superbet, gambling on the court to quash the Gaming Authority order as overstepping its reach under the laws, and further contending that the order is null and void and should not be implemented, has contracted the law firm Mohabir Nandlall and Associates to represent its interests. This law firm has since sought, and secured, an Order or Rule Nisi of Certiorari directed to the Gaming Authority and calling on that body to show why its decision to close down the operations of Superbet should not be quashed. The matter was heard by Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George.Superbet has also since secured an Order or Rule Nisi of Prohibition, retraining the Gaming Authority from taking any steps to interfere with, or close down, its operations.According to a missive issued by the company’s law firm, “The request which the Gaming Authority has made to the Guyana Revenue Authority and the Special Organized Crime Unit, or any other agency, calling in their aid to implement or give effect to its impugn decision, is in violation of the said Court Order, and Contempt of Court proceedings will certainly be filed in respect of anyone who violates or aids in the violation of the said Court Order”.The law firm also said, “Through no fault of the applicant, Guiana Holdings Inc., the Court Order has not yet been issued to us by the Registry of the Supreme Court.” As a result, “We have been unable to serve a copy of same along with the other Court documents upon the Gaming Authority.”Nevertheless, the law firm has promised that renewed efforts will be made to have the documents served today.According to court documents filed by Superbet and seen by this publication, the Gaming Authority’s decision to shut down its operations “is ultra vires, capricious, arbitrary, contrary to the rules of natural justice, unreasonable, unlawful, in violation of the applicant’s legitimate expectation, illegal, null, void, and of no effect.”The betting service is contending that its operations do not fall under the purview and ambit of the Gambling Prevention Act, and hence it is not licensed under that Act. It argues that the Gaming Authority’s jurisdiction and authority are confined to the four corners of the Gambling Prevention Act and its regulations; more specifically, it is confined to the regulation of casinos.As such, Superbet contends, the Gaming Authority “has exceeded its authority, and is acting without or outside of its jurisdiction when it purports to regulate and moreover shut down” the operation of Superbet, as outlined in the letter dated 8th June, 2017.Superbet further insists it does not require a licence under the legislation as currently configured, in order to conduct its operations.