Registry appeals for data to see true cancer picture

| 08/01/2014

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Cancer Registry, which collects information on a voluntary basis, is appealing to doctors and patients to tell them about their diagnosis to help experts understand the prevalence and impact of the disease in Cayman. With mounting anecdotal evidence that the islands may have higher levels of cancer among the population than comparative jurisdictions, the registry needs to collect accurate data to find out if this is the case and begin to look at possible causes. With only 177 documented cases on the registry it is impossible to draw any conclusions about the nature of the disease here, said Cancer Registrar Amanda Franck, who hopes that mandatory reporting will be introduced before the year is out.

Franck confirmed that as far as she is aware there has never been any research conducted about the levels, types and ages of those diagnosed or any other information about how cancer is impacting the local population.

The introduction of the register in 2010 was the very first step towards rectifying that but the expert stated that until there is mandatory reporting, as in most other countries, it can only offer a glimpse of the true picture. Hoping that legislation and a system to protect confidentiality can be introduced before the end of 2014, she said that this should be the year when an accurate picture finally emerges.

Franck pointed out that the patient data that is being collected through the registry is still being used to try and identify cancer trends here, with hopes that risks can be mitigated and an understanding how to decrease the incidences in the country can emerge. However, the experts need more information.

“Once we know that we are capturing the data of all diagnosed cases we can begin to examine what could be the environmental factors,” she said.

At present there are no answers as to why the reporting of diagnosis is limited and the registry is working hard to encourage doctors and patients to register and trying to establish a working protocol to facilitate the reporting process. But until the law forces mandatory reporting Franck said, the register will continue to rely on voluntary submissions, which, she emphasised, are held in the strictest of confidence.

“Patient confidentiality is of upmost importance and all information is held securely in a database and will never be available for public viewing,” Franck said. The registry database system is like the one used by the World Health Organization (WHO) which uses codes verses patient’s names, so all information remains confidential.

The month of January is being dedicated to raising awareness about the pressing need for this accurate and reliable information so health care professionals can improve Cayman’s prevention efforts, early detection, treatment and support. Franck appealed to patients and clinicians to get in touch and pointed out that the register needs to collect data from people who have suffered from cancer as well as current patients.

“Currently, there is very little information on the number of people living with cancer in the Cayman Islands, nor it is known which types of cancer are the most prevalent, or which types are on the rise,” Franck explained. “We need this information so the Cancer Registry can do everything possible to decrease cancer risks and keep the population healthy. We rely on cancer survivors, and families of those who have passed from cancer, to provide us with this valuable information.”

Registering is easy, completely confidential, and only takes minutes. By taking part in the registration process the public can help the Cayman Islands and the world understand more about cancer and ultimately finding better treatment.

Contact Amanda Franck, Cancer Registrar, at 345-244-2560 or to register today. To find out more people can also visit and

The national Cancer Registry is a collaborative effort between the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority and the Cayman Islands Cancer Society. The Registry was established in 2010 for the purpose of housing all cancer data collected in the Cayman Islands.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    In the 3 or 4 years since the Cancer Registrar was tasked with keeping statistics, shouldn't outreach to the limited number of primary care physicians here been a fundamental job requirement?  I'm appalled.  Certainly it's bad enough getting a dire diagnosis without the Cancer Society striving to contribute to the stress load by pushing for laws for mandatory reporting – because they prefer to sit there waiting for their phone to ring?!?  

  2. MRI-RIPOFF says:

    The MRI unit is a RIP-OFF…

    Those who do not have insurance cannot AFFORD an MRI to detect potential cancer and this may be a good reason why advanced cancers are so prevalent here!

    It now costs CI$2,539.00 for an abdominal MRI with contrast with the old outdated 1.5 Tesla machine, up from about CI$1,700.00 a couple years ago!

    Thank you 3T Cayman for ripping us off and not yet providing the long promised 3T machine when 6T is now state of the art!…

    So, that amounts to nearly US$3,100.00 to get an abdomonal MRI in Grand Cayman: let's compare with other locations:

    – US: from US$350.00 – Look up "discout MRI Miami" on the Internet.

    – France: US$235.00 with high quality equipment and interpretations.

    – La Ceiba: US$200.00 good quality with full page report, not just the usual 4 lines reports provided in Cayman. Cost of return flight with Sosa Airlines: US$250.00…

    Quote from the 3T Cayman Website by H.S.A. CEO Ms. Lizzette Yearwood :

    "The immediate benefit is that residents who need MRI scans at higher resolution can now remain on island to have their procedures completed, thereby reducing the need for inconvenient travel, as well as the high costs.”

    Clearly, there is no higher cost for an MRI than to have it in Grand Cayman…

    That is not all: NEVER take the interpretation of a radiologue in Cayman for granted and getting a second opinion is a MUST!…

    Google: "second opinion MRI". The cost is around $30.00 and well worth it…




  3. UH UH UH says:

    Dear MS. Franck,

    Please allow me say to you of a few things  which I believe is causing [not just cancer] but other diseases such a diabetes, heart problems and many others. But before I do Let me say this.  

    Fifty or sixty years ago most people on this island probably never heard of Cancer. The prevalent  disease was TB [tuberculosis] which was acquired by those who had it, by visiting some other country and eventually brought it back to the Island. After some years had passed, one seldom "if ever" heard of  the disease again on the Island. In those days we had few medical doctors on the Island and so few people went to see a doctor when feeling unwell, unless it was something of a more serious nature!  People used many of the natural [home made] remedies that could be found on some tree, bush  or root just outside the house. We ate fresh fruits " non GM of course" and vegetables. Fresh fish and grass fed beef. All pigs was fed on natural things like papayas, breadfruit etc. etc. Milk came fresh from the cows in the pasture across the street and all we did was to boil it. Eggs were fresh right out of the nest, and because of this "I do believe" that the more serious diseases were  eventually  eradicated on the Island. And tho skinny by todays standards we were Quite Healthy.

    Now I've said all this to remind us that we no longer adhere to those good healthy eating habits. Instead we now run to some fast food joint with the kids because we don't feel like cooking tonight or we run to a  supermarket to load up the grocery cart with things like Hormone fed, antibiotic infested red meat, chicken, pork, lamb and farm raised fish. This stuff is what's causing so many diseases and unhealthy body reactions. We buy chemically polluted  skin creams and other unnatural things we use on our bodies and we drink so called energy drinks that destroy our system. One of the saddest things I hear all the time is whenever one is going to the beach one should lather themselves with some pharmaceutical  concoction to protect them from the "harmful" rays of the sun. This is so wrong. That sunshine is exactly what you need to help prevent cancer, it's the greatest source of vitamin "D" there is. Which is exactly why you should be getting as much of it  as possible. But, everything in moderation, including  sunshine. Get rid of all the so called sun screens and use organic coconut oil instead. It's good for the skin! If you like, you can add a little of your favorite fragrance just to kill the oil's natural fragrance.

    Now I would like for all who read this to see for yourself what  one man and his small team of researchers has accomplished as far back as forty years ago, but was prevented until quite recently [August 2012] from treating all types of patients with "Antineoplastins" his discovery, which is now proven to cure ALL types of cancer.

    Go to you tube and look for Dr. Burzynski the title of his on line documentary is : A Cure for Cancer Forty Years Ago. It is almost two hours long but it's worth the time spent watching it. You can also google for Dr. Burzynski's clinic in Houston, Texas.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wait, didn't God create cancer?


    • So-right says:

      You're right UH UH UH…

      A major portion of cancers are caused by improper nutrition and life style…

      Eating GMO contaminated foods, pork, beef and chicken filled with hormones and antibiotics, fast foods, too much sugar, drinking phosphoric acid laced coke (it's disclosed on the can) and not exercizing moderately is a recipe for getting cancer…

      Check the Website of Dr. Mercola for proper nutrition and read about the "Budwig Protocol" to treat or prevent cancer through a special diet…


  4. Anonymous says:

    Stupid idea. Let cancer sufferers have their privacy without being a statistic on a stupid registry that serves no purpose of benefit to the patients

  5. Anonymous says:

    Mosquitoe spray on the plants and house tops = cancer.  

    • Anonymous says:

      And I suppose you'd be one of the first to complain if the mosquitoes were so thick that you had to stay indoors….

    • Anonymous says:

      where's your evidence?