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Breast cancer is two times higher in the Caribbean compared to US

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PRESS RELEASE – In a recent study, researchers from CARPHA and the US CDC found that the rates of death from cervical cancer, breast, prostate and colon cancer are 2-9 times higher in the Caribbean compared to the United States. Only lung cancer was higher in the USA.

The study also reported that prostate cancer, a common cause of death among Caribbean men, accounted for 18%-47% of cancer deaths, while lung cancer accounted for 5%-24% and was the second highest cause of cancer deaths among males. Breast cancer, the main cause of cancer death among females accounted for 14%-30% of cancer deaths; and are up to two times higher compared to the USA.

“The large number of deaths from these types of cancers is very alarming since they are mostly preventable. Breast cancer can be detected early and treated successfully. Cervical cancer is perhaps the most preventable through education, vaccination against the human papilloma virus (HPV), screening, early detection and treatment,” said Dr. James Hospedales, Executive Director, Caribbean Public Health Agency.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the Caribbean, according to the study, published today in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). This is the first time that information on cancer mortality for the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean is published in a prestigious peer review journal.

In some of its key findings, the study highlights prostate cancer as the leading cause of death among men of African descent from the Caribbean as well as in the United States and Africa. The researchers found that for both men and women, colon and rectum cancers are the third most common cause of cancer death in the Caribbean.

The leading causes of cancer deaths in the Caribbean can be reduced through prevention, screening, early detection, and effective treatment for cervical, breast and colorectal cancers.

“Research has shown that adopting healthy lifestyle choices can contribute to the reduction of cancer cases and as a consequence deaths and costs from the disease in our Region”, said Dr Hospedales.

Prevention measures include avoiding use of tobacco, limiting alcohol use, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, keeping a healthy weight, and being physically active.

CARPHA is committed to working with key partners to reduce the burden of cancer in the Region. The Agency is collaborating with CDC, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and other global partners to develop and implement the IARC Regional Cancer Registry Hub for the Caribbean.

The Cancer Registry Hub, which will provide essential technical support to strengthen cancer registration for improving cancer prevention and control in Member States, will be launched in 2017.

This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.


  1. o well, so much for the myth 'we have fresh fruits and vegetables and don't eat alot of processed food like those americans, we good mun.' tyhis report is very surprising. it goes to show across all borders that prevention is better than cure.

  2. S I had the opportunity to do mission trips in the Caribbean and sadly, our people are slowly dying. Yes we do not have the technology to treat but people need to pay attention to their life styles. They eat and drink whatever they want, for the most part highly processed foods which leads to cancer. Also they do not do routine check ups. Most times after death the postmortem show they had cancer. Yes there will be bias, but based on the population to many of our people are dying. Also our governments do not spend money to aid in detecting and treating because when they have cancer they fly away to Miami, New York or England.

  3. tell dem ppl go back and do their research. I am sick of these ppl coming and sayion caribbean sicker than their kind.

    • The research is right, we do not live healthy lifestyles here and our governments have a very laid back approach to health care because they do not understand it. The same with the financial industry, its too complicated so ignore it. Lets talk about roads and bobol instead.

      We need a significant culture in this country. FIRST of all! Tax the living daylights out of alcohol! Make it so expensive to drink that our people actually spend their money on something productive. Enforce age restriction limits on consuming alcohol. This thing is seriously reducing our productivity and its so ingrained in our culture, its like a rite of passage for the youth now. You eh a man/woman unless you have a beer in your hand!

      Instead of doing dumb sht like cutting VAT, Use that $50 million to build Boardwalks along key coastline areas for people to run on an afternoon/morning without worrying about getting hit by a vehicle on the highway.

      Reduce the duty on importing exercise equipment for personal use.

      RESTRUCTURE THE DAMN HEALTH SECTOR! its obviously not working. Start with some key regulatory/legislative changes, for example, enforce mandatory health insurance. If you allow the state to run the health insurance, invest reserves wisely and use the profits to expand the functionality of hospitals etc. Implement legislation which prevents government from borrowing from state insurance.
      Enforce mandatory breast cancer testing at the 5th form/ Community college level. Some of these young women have it and they do not know.


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