Cayman begins ananlysis of cancer on community

| 19/04/2010

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Cancer Society and the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority have signed an agreement establishing a Cancer Registry in the Cayman Islands to aid the Society, the HSA and physicians involved with the care of cancer patients. Described by the hospital and the NGO as “a milestone” in the fight against cancer the agreement lays the foundation for the establishment of a Registry which better inform health officials and the wider community about the disease’s prevalence in the Cayman Islands.


Canover Watson, HSA Board Chairman, said at the signing that it was a very important accomplishment. “It is very exciting that we have reached this milestone and are now able to move forward in mitigating and eradicating this terrible disease. The partnership between the HSA and the Cancer Society is extremely important and we look forward to bigger things to come,” he said.

The partnership will see the society and the HSA join resources as the registrar will be housed in a secure environment within the HSA while the registrar’s position and the registry itself will be funded by the Cancer Society. Dr Sook Yin, Medical Director of the Cancer Society, says they have already identified a Caymanian, Milena Conolly, who will be the first Cancer Registrar for the Cayman Islands, and will be taking up her position in the coming weeks.

The cause has also been given a vital injection of cash from local donors. “We are sincerely grateful to our donors, the Walkers Foundation , who gave the sum of US$50,000 which we have earmarked for the purchase of the software and hardware needed to set up the Cancer Registry. The Breast Cancer Foundation will also be assisting us financially to raise the funds to paythe salary for the registrar post. These donations make a hugely positive impact on the creation of the Register,” Dr Yin confirmed.

The Cancer Society is calling upon anyone in the Cayman Islands who is a resident who has been diagnosed with cancer within the last five years to please contact the Cancer Society. The Society will then be able to ensure that their details are properly recorded in the Registry.

Christine Sanders, Director with the Cancer Society says they want to hear from all cancer patients, “You don’t have to be Caymanian or a long term resident to record your details on the Registry. We want to hear from anyone who has been diagnosed within the last five years. All information will be held in the strictest confidence and will be used to assist the Society and the HSA in fighting cancer” Sanders explained.

Dr Greg Hoeksema, Medical Director with the HSA beleives the registry will reap great benefits in the years to come: “The goals of the development of the Registry are twofold: first, we can measure just how great the burden of cancer is within our society and then better direct our resources to deal with it. Second, we can use the information to ensure that those individuals with cancer get the very best follow up care possible. There is a tremendous benefit for all cancer patients to register with this voluntary program. This is an enormous stride toward our goal of decreasing the cancer burden on the people of these islands,’ the doctor said.

Lizzette Yearwood, the HSA’s Chief Executive Officer praised the individuals at the Cancer Society for their hard work in getting the Registry established which she described as a great passion for the Cancer Society directors “We are working side-by-side as we all have the same goal to try to eradicate cancer,” she added.


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