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CARPHA Observes World Cancer Day 2022

CARPHA Observes World Cancer Day 2022

Media Release Courtesy CARPHA

World Cancer Day 2022: Closing the Gap on Inequalities 

 Cancer continues to be one of the leading  causes of death. No part of the world has been spared the impact of Cancer. Worldwide, cancer  is the second leading cause of death, causing one-sixth of all deaths. In 2020, there were 19.3  million new cancer cases, with breast, lung, prostate, skin and colon cancers being the most  common; and there were 10 million cancer deaths in that same year.  

In the Caribbean, cancer is the second leading cause of death, accounting for a fifth of all deaths.  In 2020, over 100,000 new cancer cases and over 65,000 cancer deaths in the Caribbean were  estimated. Female breast cancer accounted for the most cancer cases in the Caribbean (15%),  while lung cancer caused the most cancer deaths (12%). Prostate, colorectal and stomach cancers are also common. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has further impacted health care systems resulting in disruption of  services for cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment services. Furthermore, cancer patients are  often immunocompromised, which puts them at higher risk for severe disease and death from COVID-19 infection. People with cancer are encouraged to protect themselves against exposure  to the COVID-19 virus and to get vaccinated. 

The IARC Caribbean Cancer Registry Hub (“Caribbean Hub”), based at CARPHA Headquarters in  Trinidad, provides technical support to increase the availability, quality and population coverage of  population-based cancer registries in the Caribbean through training, research, targeted technical  support, and advocacy.  

Through the Caribbean Hub, cancer registration activities in several Caribbean countries are being strengthened. Better quality cancer data provides more reliable evidence to support decision  making for cancer prevention and control at the national and regional levels. 

CARPHA is also engaged in initiatives to address the risk factors associated with increased cancer  risks, including poor nutrition and the consumption of harmful substances such as alcohol and  tobacco. The Agency supports regional efforts to reduce the threats posed to Caribbean people by  unhealthy diets, obesogenic food environments and the harmful use of alcohol. 

World Cancer Day 2022 is the first year of the three-year theme “Close the Care Gap”. This  campaign seeks to close the equity gaps in cancer outcomes between people with different social  determinants of health, such as race/ethnicity, income level, gender and geographical location. 

To help address these issues, a whole of society approach is needed. Collectively we can create  change. We need to close the gap in inequities, which affect if persons are getting the right cancer  care at the right time. This means taking action and committing to health equality. Primary health  care delivered in communities needs to be strengthened; social and economic factors that  negatively affect people’s health need to be addressed through policy and programmes, and investments in health care systems and national programmes are needed.  

Governments are urged to support and advocate for the collection and dissemination of high-quality  data on cancer incidence, mortality, and treatment to ensure evidence-based decision-making for  improvements to national cancer control programmes. Additionally, Government investments in  strategies can help improve cancer outcomes, such as universal health coverage, primary care,  early detection, timely referral mechanisms, effective treatment, and palliative care. 

A person’s risk of developing cancer can be substantially reduced through the adoption of healthy  lifestyles and the practice of suitable health seeking behaviours. Up to 50% of cancer cases are  preventable, and 27% of cancers relate to alcohol and tobacco use.  

Adopting healthier behaviours can help to reduce your risk of cancer.  

• The less alcohol you drink, the lower your risk of cancer.  

• Avoid tobacco products and exposure to second-hand smoke.  

• Increase physical activity 

• Eat more nutritious foods 

Cancer is a critical public health concern. When we unite, when we collaborate, change is within  reach. When we act, there is progress, impact and equity. 

Contact us
Avril Isaac Communications Officer, Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA)
Avril Isaac Communications Officer, Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA)
About The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has eleven members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Martinique and Guadeloupe. 

The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Morne Fortune
Saint Lucia