Cancer deaths rising, prioritize screenings, urges DCS

(L-r) Yvonne Alexander, Dr. Cassandra Williams

Acting Minister of Health, Dr. Cassandra Williams is reporting an increase in cancer-related deaths in Dominica from 2020 to 2022. She made the announcement during the Dominica Cancer Society (DCS) Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the weekend.

Cancer is reported as one of the non-communicable diseases that is the leading cause of death in Dominica.

“In Dominica, in 2020 and 2021 we recorded 114 cancer-related deaths, in 2022 136 such deaths,” she revealed. “It is heartbreaking to think that so many families lost loved ones to this disease.”

She continued, “What will be truly heartbreaking is if one single Dominican would have cancer and not know, because they were unable to access basic preventative care from routine checkups to mammograms, to pap smears, to prostate exams. That would be dreadfully unacceptable.”

She added, “Let that not be the reason why someone goes undiagnosed.”

According to Dr. Williams, the Government of Dominica has ensured that even at the primary healthcare level everyone has access to basic tests and consultations.

“And when referrals are needed for treatment in management, be it on island or abroad, we have provided the necessary support,” she stated.

Meanwhile, President of the DCS Yvonne Alexander said diagnostic tests and cancer screening should be prioritized.

“It makes economic sense for us to focus on prevention, because the individuals, families, and country cannot sustain the cost of treatment and the emotional trauma associated with a cancer diagnosis,” she remarked. “The Dominica Cancer Society will continue to advocate for policies that will allow for diagnostic tests and cancer screening to be prioritized, so that there is timely referral for treatment.

Furthermore, she said the DCS is very concerned that sometimes there are long wait times before someone gets an appointment for diagnostic tests.
“If it’s cancer it needs to be prioritized,” Alexander noted. “It’s emotionally traumatizing to have to wait three months for an appointment. We can do better than that as a people and as a country.”

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  1. Ibo France
    March 26, 2024

    The food we eat, the pipe borne water we drink, the polluted air we inhale, the many public buildings overrun with mold that workers have to occupy daily, are all contributing to the proliferation of the cancerous diseases.

    Additionally, ultra poverty, poor health facilities, lax consumer laws, protection, enforcement and education taking a considerable toll on the lives of most citizens.

    Presently, deaths from non-communicable diseases are at an unprecedented level and rising exponentially. No change of political administration and we are all doomed.

  2. Truth Be Told
    March 26, 2024

    Dr. Cassandra Williams you and your team along with the Ministry of Health in Dominica would do well to investigate, analyze and examine what are the direct and underlying causes for the increase rate of cancers and cancer related deaths in Dominica! Is it chemicals in our farming, foods, water, increase use of alcohol, smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and unhealthy lifestyles, hospital failures? What is responsible for the increase rate of cancers and cancer related deaths? We are doing something wrong today because we did not have such high rate of cancer yesterday! What is it?

    • Long-term Results
      March 27, 2024

      They have UNDP and other new world NGOs in their ears permanently about compliance all the time. They never leave, there all the time, these numbers are to show as your performance because it’s high on Canada etc. so yours has to be up there too.

  3. Free up
    March 25, 2024

    When you are not free to speak your mind which is your God given rights; then you are physically open and vulnerable to all types of illnesses because your immune system is badly compromised. 90% of Dominicans are stressed out and it’s obvious on their faces. Customer service at the supermarkets is at an all time low because to keep your job you must forcefully support a political party that you don’t like.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1
  4. angelwatch
    March 25, 2024

    Why are we looking at food only as the main cause of cancer?, while negative stress is 95 % the cause of cancer. Why not try looking at some of the negative stress and see how we can help a nation in need of financial, economic, family relation/relationship and the many other life styles issues that affect our lives, every day.
    Lack of many needs, cause worry and stress and by extension illnesses.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  5. Zandoli
    March 25, 2024

    We have a tradition of visiting the doctor when the pain and discomfort become unbearable. That may have to do with the cost of seeing a primary care doctor. If you have limited resources, you have to decide whether you can afford to feed your family and/or visit the doctor.
    Another thing, to get anything done in DA requires one, especially it they live in the rural areas to set aside an entire day to accomplish that task. Which goes back to the point that I made earlier. If you are not in too much pain or discomfort, you wait it our hoping you will feel better and get on with your life……until it is too late.
    Also, we need to address the level of chemicals that are used to spray on food. Some of these chemical are not only in the food but leach into the rivers which are then consumed.
    It is not enough to highlight the issue. They need to solve find solutions to the problem.
    How many people in DA can afford to do routine annual blood work when they are asymptomatic?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1
  6. derp
    March 25, 2024

    Early screening not going to change much in terms of the deaths when the cost of living is so high in Dominica and you all importing all those foods that causing cancer ….

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1
    • Hmmmmm
      March 25, 2024

      Derp you are so correct, because i am currently suffering from a severe condition, and the list of foods that i am given to consume is just beyond my reach. I have already made up my mind that i’ll go meet my creator soon, as i continue to consume just what my measly budget can afford. The cost of living here is a real killer.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
  7. If we knew better
    March 25, 2024

    What is the cancer society doing about adopting cannabis as a viable treatment for cancer?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

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