Health min­istry to gather data on can­cers is­land­wide

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOMETHING EXTRA -

THE MIN­ISTRY of Health is ex­pand­ing the reach of the Na­tional Cancer Reg­istry (NCR) to the en­tire is­land to fa­cil­i­tate data gath­er­ing on ev­ery type of cancer in Ja­maica.

Direc­tor of non-com­mu­ni­ca­ble dis­eases and in­juries preven­tion in the Min­istry of Health, Dr Tamu Davidson-Sadler, said the reg­istry in­for­ma­tion will al­low the min­istry to plan and project how many re­sources will be needed in the fu­ture to plan for treat­ment, di­ag­no­sis and screen­ing of the dis­ease.

“This is crit­i­cally im­por­tant in tak­ing an ev­i­dence-based ap­proach to plan­ning and mon­i­tor­ing some of our pro­grammes. We want data to be bet­ter able to un­der­stand the trends, dis­tri­bu­tion and causes as it re­lates to dif­fer­ent types of can­cers,” she said.

Davidson-Sadler added that there are some strict cri­te­ria for qual­ity data that is re­quired at the global level and that the min­istry aims to meet those qual­ity stan­dards. “We would also want to en­sure that this data is in a form that will not breach con­fi­den­tial­ity and at the same time make the in­for­ma­tion avail­able to the pub­lic, so that aware­ness to Ja­maica’s sit­u­a­tion is out there,” Davidson-Sadler said. She pointed out that Ja­maica is part of a global ini­tia­tive to im­prove data col­lec­tion, and in 2013, as part of the na­tional plan, the min­istry be­gan the process of im­ple­ment­ing the Na­tional Cancer Reg­istry, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Pan Amer­i­can Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion.

“This is where we reg­is­ter all cancer cases within a geo­graphic area. We are now run­ning this pro­gramme in three re­gions and we should com­plete our process by im­ple­ment­ing this reg­istry pro­gramme in the fourth re­gion – the North East Re­gional Health Author­ity,” Davidson-Sadler said. She ex­plained that the process in­volves col­lect­ing de­mo­graph­ics, tu­mor in­for­ma­tion and fol­lowup, which is en­tered into a data­base. “We can look at the in­ci­dence of cancer in St Eliz­a­beth, such as breast cancer and prostate cancer, and the high-risk groups,” she noted. “It means that we can de­ter­mine if we need to go into a par­tic­u­lar area to do more ed­u­ca­tion and more screen­ing. We also ex­pect, as we scale up our screen­ing Davidson-Sadler

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