Minister De Weever: Monday is World Cancer Day

Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labour Hon. Cornelius de Weever says Monday, February 4th marks World Cancer Day.

Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and affects everyone – the young and old, the rich and poor, men, women and children – accounting for 7.6 million deaths (around 13 per cent of all deaths) in 2008. Deaths from cancer worldwide are projected to continue rising, with an estimated 13.1 million deaths in 2030.

Lung, stomach, liver, colon and breast cancer cause the most cancer deaths each year.


Minister De Weever says many cancers have a high chance of cure if detected early and treated adequately and therefore via his ‘Get Checked’ campaign to improve the welfare and health of the people of Sint Maarten, and that the Ministry of Public Health, is calling on the populace to take action today in order to prevent cancer.

The most frequent types of cancer differ between men and women. About 30 per cent of cancer deaths are due to the five leaving behavioral and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol use.

Minister De Weever’s ‘Get Checked,’ campaign says that more than 30 per cent of cancer deaths could be prevented by modifying or avoiding key risk factors including tobacco use, being overweight or obese, unhealthy diet with low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, alcohol use, sexually transmitted Human Papilloma Virus-infection.

‘Get Checked,’ says cancer mortality can be reduced if cases are detected and treated early based on two components of early detection such as early diagnosis, see your family physician who can assist with this.

The second component is screening, your family physician can also advise with respect to when and how this is done. Some examples of screening methods are, visual inspection with acetic acid for cervical cancer; PAP test for cervical cancer; and mammography screening for breast cancer.

Cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. One defining feature of cancer is the rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow beyond their usual boundaries and which can then invade adjoining parts of the body and spread to other organs.