T&T Health Minister reveals: More males die from cancer

(Trinidad Guardian) Males outnumbered females in new cases of cancer and cancer deaths in T&T. This was revealed by Minister of Health Dr Fuad Khan at the T&T Medical Association’s inaugural oncology update conference at Hyatt Regency, Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. “According to the National Cancer Registry of T&T, between 1997 and 2006, there were 19,833 new cases of cancer and 12,643 cancer deaths recorded in T&T,” Khan said. “Males outnumbered females for both new cases at 10,243, and deaths at 6,893…The statistics for females were 9,590 new cases and 5,750 deaths. He said prostate cancer was the most common new cancer with a total of 4,254 cases and was also the leading fatal cancer with 2,573 deaths.

Breast cancer was second for both new cases at 3,009 and 1,348 deaths, colon and rectum cancers ranked third with 1,923 new cases and 1,235 cancer fatalities registered. Khan said these three leading cancers accounted for 46.30 per cent of the new cases during that period. “Cancer in T&T is age-related with less than two per cent occurring in persons under the age of 15 years and 60.9 per cent in persons 60 and older,” he said. “Females are more likely to develop cancer between 25 and 59 years.” He said it was mainly due to the impact of prostate cancer that accounted for the higher incidence of cancer in males greatly exceeding that among females.

Khan said his ministry’s plans for more cancer treatment services were well under way which included:

• a breast cancer clinic to be opened shortly at the National Radiotherapy Centre in St James, partnering with the private sector to offer eligible patients free modern linear accelerator radiation therapy treatment;

• further development of the National Oncology Centre, investment in the development of a national cancer programme; and

• expansion of the cancer drug formulary and offering national scholarships and bursaries to nationals pursuing specialist training in oncology.


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