Barbados queries cancer statistics

By Caribbean Medical News Staff

The London-based World Cancer Research Fund International (WCRF) has listed Barbados at the top of the ladder as it relates to cancers saying that almost 155 women in every 100 000 develop bowel, breast and womb Cancers all of which they indicated are related to lack of exercise as well.

However, President and Trustee of the Barbados Cancer Society, Dr. Dorothy Cooke-Johnson said that there is no registry in Barbados with such comprehensive data and she queried how this statistics could be tabulated and reported.

However, according to reports, Dr Rachel Thompson, head of Research Interpretation at WCRF said that their information was based on figures released by WCRF that came from the World Health Organization’s GLOBOCAN 2012 database which is produced by the International Agency for Cancer Research (IACR).

Though Dr. Cooke Johnson questions the research data, she still admitted that this was a “wake up call” for Barbadians.

“It is a good warning and a good wake-up call to take the necessary action to prevent cancer”, she said. She indicated that many Barbadians were indeed overweight and that the beginning of year was a good time to revisit the matter of health, prevention and longevity.

“I was surprised to see Barbados at the top of the list. However, when you look at all the data, it seems that for many European countries, e.g. the United Kingdom, there are high quality data on the number of cases diagnosed. For Barbados and the Bahamas, high quality data is not available and …the IARC used the best quality data available…and so we cannot be confident that Barbados is at top of the list. In fact the IRAC gave Barbados and Bahamas the lowest score G and the UK was given an A”, said Thompson.

The WRCF funds scientific research which argues that breast cancer is largely preventable.

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