Wed | Jul 24, 2019

Jamaica now has a National Cancer Registry

Published:Wednesday | December 12, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Ian Allen/Photographer Minister of Health Dr. Christopher Tufton congratulates Courtney Greaves on her performance at the launch of National Cancer Registry of Jamaica, held at Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa in St Andrew yesterday.

The launch of the National Cancer Registry of Jamaica represents another meaningful addition in the fight against cancer, as it will allow for quality data collection to inform decision-making policies, says Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton.

He added that it also represents a path towards being better able to understand trends in cancer care and treatment, as well as to help craft policies around its prevention.

"This is to do a number of things, including to describe the burden and distribution of cancer, as well as to monitor the impact of cancer prevention and control activities. This will include screening and early detection, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination and cancer treatment programmes, as well as to identify areas for research to better understand risk factors in Jamaica," Tufton said at yesterday's launch at Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa in St Andrew.




He noted that the population-based cancer registry, which covers the entire island, will actively collect cancer information on all new cases, including data on patients' demographics, and cancer type in a defined population.

The National Cancer Registry forms part of the Caribbean and global initiative by the World Health Organization, International Research on Cancer, and the Caribbean Public Health Agency to improve the availability of quality data to guide decision-making to improve prevention, control and treatment of cancer.

Development of the registry began in 2013, with the assistance of the Pan American Health Organization, the Barbados Cancer Registry, and since 2015, the Caribbean Cancer Registry Hub.

According to Dr Tamu Davidson, director of non-communicable diseases and injuries prevention in the Ministry of Health, "There will be one registry team located within each of the three health regions. And it means, therefore, that only specifically approved persons will be able to access the information of patients, which will be logged into the system."

She added, "This is a great addition in the battle against cancers of all types. It's a system in which we will be able to fully track the status of the individuals, which will further assist in those responsible for policy to make informed decisions."