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(PRESS RELEASE) — The Department of Health and Wellness, with the assistance of the Saint Lucia Cancer Society, is working towards establishing a cancer registry and improving data collection of cancer on the island.
As part of the efforts to establish a cancer registry in Saint Lucia, a review of the cancer data collected over the past five years was conducted recently.
The cancer registry is expected to serve as a surveillance tool in guiding the planning and implementation of cancer prevention and control programmes.
Acting National Epidemiologist Dr. Michelle Francois said the cancer registry is fundamental as it will provide a better snapshot of cancer in Saint Lucia.
“We were extremely thrilled that we were able to gather that data which can guide our programming, highlight areas which we need to emphasis on. We do know cancer, a lot of it is preventable through early detection, through screening and also modifying certain behavioral practices. So, we look at the data to guide us and there are areas which came forward, which, of course, need improvement and we have highlighted. The plan moving forward is solidify this partnership with the Saint Lucia Cancer Society and also to include other stakeholders so to get a more accurate picture of the cancer situation in St. Lucia.”
President of the Saint Lucia Cancer Society Dr. Tamara Remy said such an initiative is important as it will guide decision-making to improve prevention, control and treatment of cancer.
“Cancer is here in Saint Lucia, we need to be able to use information; we have a lot of campaigns where we can help to prevent cancer; we going to help with the provision of ways to make an early diagnosis. All this information with this collaboration between St. Lucia Cancer Society, the Ministry of Health, Epidemiology Unit, is really going to be geared towards helping the Saint Lucian public. So we asking for your attention, we asking that you take heed of the information that you are actually going to give and be part of the whole process.”
Dr. Remy expressed hope that the cancer registry will assist with reducing the burden of cancer in Saint Lucia.