Black Immigrant Daily News
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, accounting for an estimated 9.6 million deaths, or one in six deaths, in 2018.” To raise awareness of this and to educate the public, the WHO, and other international and local organizations, including the Cayman Islands Cancer Society, have put in place specific initiatives that they are continuing today, February 4, World Cancer Day, an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control.
What is the WHO doing
Regarding the WHO’s activities, they announced a Global Breast Cancer Initiative Framework on February 3, 2003, to provide “a roadmap to attain the targets to save 2.5 million lives from breast cancer by 2040.”
Providing statistics on breast cancer and who it impacts, a press release from the WHO said:
There are more than 2.3 million cases of breast cancer that occur each year, which make it the most common cancer among adults. In 95% of countries, breast cancer is the first or second leading cause of female cancer deaths. Yet, survival from breast cancer is widely inequitable between and within countries; nearly 80% of deaths from breast and cervical cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries.
The WHO added:
Cancer in women, including breast cancer leave devastating impact for the next generation. A 2020 study by the International Agency for Research on Cancer suggests that with an estimated 4.4 million women dying of cancer in 2020, nearly 1 million children were orphaned by cancer, 25% of which were due to breast cancer. Children who lose their mothers to cancer experience health and educational disadvantages throughout their lives, triggering generational, chronic social disruption and financial harm in many cases.
The WHO, therefore, “recommends to countries to implement the three pillars of health promotion for early detection, timely diagnosis and comprehensive management of breast cancer to reach the targets.”
Union for International Cancer Control
Complementing the WHO’s efforts, the Union for International Cancer Control (through this year’s World Cancer Day’s theme, “Close the Care Gap”) wants to “build stronger alliances and innovative new collaborations” and “mobilise friends, family, coworkers and communities.”
By doing this under a multi-year “Close the Care Gap” campaign, more people will learn about efforts to improve cancer treatment and prevention and may become active stakeholders supporting more people in their communities who are fighting cancer. These cancers include lung, prostate, colorectal, stomach, and liver cancer (the most common types of cancer in men) and breast, colorectal, lung, cervical, and thyroid cancer (the most common among women).
One of the local stakeholders who acknowledge the efforts of the Union for International Cancer Control and their “Close the Care Gap” campaign is the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.
Concerning this, the Cayman Islands Cancer Society is helping to help “Close the Care Gap” by encouraging various stakeholders to participate in awareness and fundraising activities during the month of February and all year long.
Regarding this, the Cayman Islands Cancer Society said: “The Cayman Islands Cancer Society encourages schools, businesses, and churches to raise funds throughout the whole month of February. In the last four years, the cancer society has provided over $1 million in financial aid to cancer patients in our community. Our organization will also be celebrating its 28th anniversary this year, we would appreciate your support in helping us help others.”
The Cayman Islands Cancer Society added:
In this month of February, there will be various lavender themed fundraising efforts such as; Dress Down Day in office, changing at least one lightbulb to lavender, or buying lavender drinks at participating bars and restaurants. (The Cayman Islands Cancer Society said that cancer is usually associated with the pink ribbons, however those specifically represent breast cancer. Lavender is the official color for awareness of all cancers.)
Another local stakeholder, Doctors Hospital Cayman, announced that “In January 2023, over the course of a week, a round of successful bilateral Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator (DIEP) Flaps surgeries – a cosmetic procedure for breast reconstruction for breast cancer patients, were performed at Doctors Hospital.”
According to Doctors Hospital, “The procedures were performed by Dr Anne Dancey, Dr Tanja Ebanks and Dr Keith Allison” and “was part of a collaboration with Doctors Hospital, Cayman Surgery Group, and the Cayman Islands Breast Cancer Foundation.”
Previous press releases also indicate that Doctors Hospital has plans to build a cutting-edge, high-tech, multimillion, full-service oncology centre on its campus in Cayman, spanning almost 9000 square feet, to ensure that patients have access to the latest and most effective cancer treatment advances.
Also involved in the drive for cancer prevention and education is Health City Cayman Islands, which just announced the arrival of “A brand new Linear Accelerator for radiation treatment” at their Radiation Oncology Centre.
Health City unpacking its brand new Linear Accelerator for radiation treatment (source: Health City Cayman Islands)
Regarding this, Health City Cayman Islands said it focuses “on the diagnosis and treatment of various cancers using progressive chemotherapy, as well as hormonal, biological, and targeted therapies.”
Health City Cayman Islands added:
Our medical oncology team delivers world-class medical care and compassionate support for the patient through all phases of their chemotherapy cycle and supportive care regime – from diagnosis and treatment – to management and recovery.
Health City Cayman Islands concluded:
We provide a healing environment for all of our patients, which is especially important for those being treated for and recovering from cancer. The dedicated Oncology Day Care Unit is a serene, comfortable environment in which patients receive treatment.
Lastly, the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority (HSA) said that it “supports the global movement in closing the gap in cancer care by offering a variety of cancer screenings.”
Regarding this, the HSA noted that its Chemotherapy Unit offers “oncology-haematology services in diagnosis, prevention, and treatment.”
In providing these services, the HSA said that “it works collaboratively with the surgical unit to offer surgery as required.”
Everyone, not just doctors, can get involved
In addition to the contributions by doctors, hospitals, and international organisations, there is room for non-doctors to help “Close the Care Gap.”
One such opportunity can be found on the Cayman Islands Cancer Society website, which provides different ways to get involved (see https://www.cics.ky/ways-to-help/).
Interested parties can also download an information packet using the following link:
Lastly, more information on World Cancer Day can be found in the video below: