Breast Cancer Awareness (CIMA)



Breast Cancer Awareness (CIMA)



Baddegama, Galle District February 2019


An awareness programme on cancer was held for members of the Christ Church Baddegama on 23rd February 2019 at the Sumaga Training Center Baddegama in the Galle District. Approximately 42 female members of Christ Church participated in the programme, with the Mithuruwela Cancer Support Network being represented by Mr S Thalayasingam (Chairman),MalaThalayasingam (Co-founder), MsSuranganiRatwatte (Treasurer) and Ms. NelunRatnasekera (Coordinator, Mithuruwela Awareness Sessions).  


The resource person who conducted the programmewereDrBimalakaSeneviratne from the Department of Pathologyof the Sri Jayawardenapura University and Sister Lakshmi of the National Cancer Control Programme. DrBimalka and Sister Lakshmi in their presentations spoke of cancer in general and paid special attention to breast cancer which is often an issue in rural Sri Lanka. Using illustrated flash cards, Sister Lakshmi also explained how a simple self-examination for breast cancer could be carried out at home and advised participants to consult a doctor if they found anything unusual. Following the presentation, she conducted a screening session for the female participants who wished to be tested. About 40 female participants presented themselves


The Mithuruwela Cancer Support Network expresses its gratitude for the assistance given by Reverend RienziePerera Vicar of the Church of St Paul Milagiriya and his team at the theSumagaTraning Center who arranged the venue for the programme, mobilized the members of Christ Church to attend the programme and provided refreshments for the participants. Mithuruwela also wishes to record its sincere appreciation of the support given by DrBimalkaSeneviratne and Sister Lakshmi.


Kudawa, Sinharaja MAB Reserve March 2019


On 9th March, Mithuruwela held an Awareness Session at Kudawa, the entry point into the Sinharaja Man and Biosphere Reserve. The Session was organized by the Forest Department at Kalawana and supported by Priya and PriyanthiGunawardene and ShamilPerera and their team from Finlays.


127 men and women from the villages in and around Sinharaja were present at the Session. The audience was addressed by PriyaGunawardene who spoke on behalf of the organizers, and NelunRatnasekera, Coordinator, Mithuruwela Awareness Sessions who spoke of Mithuruwela and its cancer education programmes. DrUdaniKiriwandeniya of the Dept of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sri Jayawardenepura and Public Health Midwife Vasanthi of the MoHOffice,Kalawana addressed the audience on cancer issues and Breast Self- Examination. All types of cancer were discussed with the focus on breast and oral cancer- two types of cancer highly prevalent in rural Sri Lanka. SharonaNaizer, Secretary, Mithuruwelathanked the audience and the organizers on behalf of Mithuruwela. SuranganiRatwatte,Treasurer, ZoraWahab, Member, Management Committee and Professor RyhanaRaheem, Co- Founder of Mithuruwela also attended the session.  


2 Public Health Midwives, Ms KWPD Dassenayakefrom Kalawana and Ms WA R Weerakoon from Godakawela also assisted with the session, and helpedDrKiriwandeniya and PHM Vasanthi to screen the large number of women present.4 participants were asked to present themselves at Ratnapura Hospital for further tests for breast cancer and 5 were instructed to do thyroid tests.  


The success of this session was largely due to the careful organization of the day's programme by Finlayswith very positive support given by the Forest Department of Sri Lanka.Mithuruwela thanks Finlays for its continued support for its programmes. Mithuruwela also notes with sincere appreciation the support given by the academic staff of the Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine,University of Sri Jayawardenepura and the NCCP.



Mirigama , July 2019 


Mithuruwela conducted a Cancer Awareness Session for staff and customers of Dumbara Micro Credit Ltd at Mirigama on Saturday July 13th.There about 50 participants. DrDulaniBeneragamaof the Dept of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sri Jayawardenepura spoke of cancer and Public Health Nurse VisakhaJayaratneaddressed the audience on BSE. NelunRatnasekera, Coordinator, Mithuruwela Awareness Sessions spoke of Mithuruwela and its cancer education programmes and SharonaNaizer, Secretary, Mithuruwelagave an address of thanks on behalf of Mithuruwela. DrThushanBeneragama, Consultant Surgeon,NationalHospital,Colombo and ProfessorRyhanaRaheem, Co- Founder of Mithuruwela also attended the session.  


DrDulaniBeneragama spoke on all forms of cancer (oral, breast, cervical, thyroid, laryngeal, skin, lung and liver) and highlighted the signs and symptoms of these cancers that should be noted by the audience. DrThushanBeneragama dealt with reconstruction and plastic surgery that helps a patient to resume a normal life instead of being disfigured by surgery. Questions from the audience were dealt with comprehensively; and after the presentation, both doctors dealt individually with members of the audience who had specific concerns. Screening for cancer then took place. This was conducted by Sister VisakhaJayaratne and Sister... from Divulapiitiya. 2 cases of cancer were detected and they were asked to follow up on this finding.


The empathy and kindness of the 2 doctors present was a hallmark of this session and Mithuruwela acknowledges their support with great appreciation. Mithuruwela also thanks Sister Visakha and Sister .... for their very professional handling of members of the audience who presented themselves for screening. The support and warm hospitality provided by Dumbara Micro Credit is also gratefully acknowledged.



Ladies College, Colombo District July 2019


On July 29thMithuruwela conducted an Awareness Session for pre-school teachers following a Diploma at the Institute of Professional Studies, Ladies College, Colombo 7.


22 teachers were present together with the Lecturer MrsRomola de Mel and members of staff from the Institute office. Mala Thalayasingam, AruniWadugodapitiya and RyhanaRaheem were the resource persons.


Mala shared her experiences as a breast cancer survivor and described how and why Mithuruwela was created. Ryhana spoke on 'What is cancer' and outlined the activities that Mithuruwela is involved in while Aruni described in detail the work done with children warded at CCC House. At the end of the session, the panel answered questions from the audience. Booklets on 'Breast Cancer and You'  werealso distributed among the audience.


Awareness Sessions of this nature have been conducted at Ladies' College since 2012 and Mithuruwela thanks MrsRomola de Mel for organizing the sessions for her students.

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