Qualitative researcher with the George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre Dr Natalie Greaves speaking of the National Cancer Action Plan. (Picture by Ricardo Leacock.)
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Prostate cancer is taking many Barbadians to the grave.
This is coming from qualitative researcher with the George Alleyne Chronic Disease Research Centre, Dr Natalie Greaves, who said the data collected by 2013 showed that the most common cancer deaths resulted from the prostate, followed in descending order by breast, colon, cervix and blood and lymph cancers.
She was speaking on the National Cancer Action Plan being devised based on data collected by the National Registry on Cancer during a workshop on Cancer Management Best Practices at Radisson Aquatica Resort recently, organised by the Barbados Nation Registry.
Greaves also said of the five most cancers that caused death in Barbados, four of them were preventable. She said the incidence of cancer in Barbados could be reduced since there was an opportunity for early detection, screening, vaccines to prevent the contraction of some viruses linked to cancer. She added that elements such as proper diet and physical activity also played a part.
Greaves said in 2008 cancer deaths stood at20 per cent of all deaths in Barbados, but by 2016 it moved to 26 per cent.
“The fact of the matter is that the situation is getting worse, so whereas we were about 20 per cent we are now at 26 per cent. We cannot realistically expect the situation to get better because as it relates to epidemiologic transitions we are now in the phase of lifestyle diseases; diseases of affluence. Over the next 30 years the incidence of cancer and mortality related to cancer is not necessarily expected to decrease unless we make some fundamental changes,” Greaves said.
She said the reason why the data was only collated for 2013 was that names were added to the register upon death of the individual, hence the four-year lag in terms of the data.
Greaves said for males the most frequently diagnosed cancers in order of frequency were prostate, colorectal, stomach, lung and lip oral cavity. The most common deaths were from prostate, colon, blood and lymph and digestive other tumours in descending.
For females the most frequently diagnosed cancers were breast, corpus uteri, colorectal, cervic uteri followed by ovary while the most death was from breast, colon, blood and lymph, cervix and digestive other tumours.
Greaves also said they were now seeing more cases of digestive other tumours, which included pancreatic, gall bladder and stomach cancers.
She said the registry would provide information that would help to bolster the case for cancer care and treatment to be in one location rather than the now scattered system.
Greaves said over a two-year period, they produced a draft National Cancer Action Plan reviewed by international experts including the National Cancer Institute and Centre for disease Control who incorporated their comments. The plan is now at the final review process by the Ministry of Health, then would go to cabinet before mobilisation. (LK)