In the Caribbean Cancer is the Second Leading Cause of Death

February 4th marked World Cancer Day. Nearly one half of cancers are preventable or treatable if detected early.

Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), is calling on the population to refrain from unhealthy lifestyles and to also visit their family physician at least once a year for a general check-up as part of preventive care.

According to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), among females, breast cancer is the main cause of death, followed by cervical cancer.

Prostate cancer is ranked as the leading cause of cancer death among males, with lung cancer coming in second.  Lung cancer also contributes to a high number of deaths among women.

Colon cancer is the fifth leading cause of death in the Caribbean, with almost equal number of deaths among males and females.  Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable, yet it claims the lives of approximately 2,500 women.
CPS says some unhealthy lifestyles involve tobacco use, unhealthy eating habits (overweight and obesity; low levels of intake of fruits and vegetables), physical inactivity, and the consumption of alcohol.

CARPHA says that research has shown that a reduction in aforementioned risk factors contributes to a reduction of cancer cases and as a consequence deaths and costs from the disease in the Caribbean.

The theme for World Cancer Day 2015 was: “Not Beyond Us.”

CPS is appealing to the Sint Maarten community to employ proactive approaches to fight against cancer because solutions do exist and are within reach.  Speak with your family physician so we can reduce the scourge of cancer in the Caribbean.