May 26, 2022

Cayman Islands Cancer Registry sees 50% monthly increase in registration rates

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The Cayman Islands Cancer Registry has increased its pool of voluntary enrollees of cancer survivors by a monthly average of 50 percent since the start of 2017, moving the registry one step closer in its efforts to better understanding cancer and developing strategies to mitigate its risks in the Cayman Islands.

“This increase in registration has given the registry an excellent start to the year with 340 people currently registered, and will lead to a greater understanding of cancer trends in the Cayman Islands,” said Cancer Registrar, Amanda Nicholson.

Ms Nicholson attributes the increase in new registrants to the support of a good network of medical professionals and cancer organisations such as the Cayman Islands Cancer Society and the Breast Cancer Foundation. They understand the significant benefits of the cancer registry and its critical role in informing and implementing national strategies to reduce cancer risks among the population, through data collection and data mining.

“More people are becoming aware of the Cancer Registry — what we do, how to register, why it is important and the steps we take to ensure their personal information is safe with us,” she stated.

A supporter of the registry, Veronica Seales, encourages cancer survivors and families with a history of cancer to enroll in the registry as an important tool in the multi-faceted efforts to reduce the incidences of cancer in the Cayman Islands. “As a 35 year veteran of health care and now a survivor of cancer myself, the data compiled by the registry establishes the importance of various treatments available to Caymanian residents, moving our country forward in the global fight against this disease,” she shared.

All information included in the registry is confidential and anonymised, which means names are excluded, before being entered into a database designed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and customised to fit the needs of Cayman’s unique community.

“No member of the public, but the Cancer Registrar, has access under any circumstances to this database. This knowledge, and the education of the public by local doctors, cancer organisations and the media has led to greater co-operation, support and disclosure by residents to the Cancer Registry,” Ms Nicholson stated.

Although registration has increased since the beginning of the year, Ms Nicholson is concerned about the low rates of voluntary registration by men. Only 30 percent of registrants are men. “We do not have nearly as many men registering as women, which is surprising since slightly more men than women are diagnosed with cancer,” Ms Nicholson said.

“We need more men in Cayman to come forward and register. Help us to create a more comprehensive cancer registry that will benefit not only you but the community, the region and the world,” she added.

Data collected by the Cancer Registry can be compared with other Caribbean countries and worldwide. This comparison will give the Cayman Islands evidence of any similarities or differences experienced. The ability to compare data will encourage collaboration with other nations and further research. Without this information, it would be difficult to initiate action to decrease the occurrence of cancer in the Cayman Islands.

If a cancer survivor wishes to register to the Cayman Islands Cancer Registry, they may contact Ms Nicholson at 244-2560 or [email protected] Registering is fast, easy, and only takes a couple of minutes. It can be done face to face or via e-mail.

END

IMAGE: Sir Health

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