Health Educator Mignon Rolle -Shillingford is urging lifestyle changes among the population to help reduce the number of cancer-related deaths on the island.
She revealed that six hundred and ninety-seven (697) persons died from cancer-related deaths for the period 2011 to 2016.
“In 2011 we had one hundred and thirty three deaths, in 2012 a hundred and ten, in 2013 one hundred and twenty eight, in 2014 a hundred and six, in 2015 one hundred and thirty two and in 2016 eighty-eight,” Mrs. Shillingford informed.
“So, for the past six/seven years, we had a total of six hundred and ninety-seven persons dying from cancer,” she added.
Shillingford noted that with a small population “and even so much so we had a decrease in the number of persons living here now because of [Hurricane] Maria that is significant”.
Shillingford, who was speaking during the launch of the annual ‘Walk for Cancer Care’ on Wednesday 13 August 2018, informed that breast and prostate cancer are the leading diagnosis among males and females.
She informed that between 2010 and 2017 “we had a hundred and eighty-five persons being diagnosed with breast cancer” and that this “is the cancer that kills most of our females”.
During that same period, she added, eight-four (84) females were diagnosed with cervical cancer and one hundred and two (102) males were diagnosed with prostate cancer.
She reminded the public that there are four main risk factors associated with cancers and other non-communicable diseases (NCD’s) which are unhealthy eating patterns or habits, alcohol use, tobacco and physical inactivity.
“So if we eat better, remain physically active, decrease our alcohol use, and tobacco use we will be a healthier nation,” Shillingford said.
“Of course we know some cancers may come across even if you have done all that, but one of the key things is early intervention. Do your screenings today,” she added.