October has been dedicated as the month of breast cancer awareness in Guyana, and the Ministry of Public Health has been hosting several functions to tackle the prevalent issue. At a recent forum, it was disclosed that Guyana is currently seeking to ‘beef up’ the efforts made to detect cancer in the hinterland regions.
During an interview with a source from the Ministry, it was confirmed that several cases of cervical cancer are among those that have been recently detected in Guyana’s hinterland, in a region where no screening machines are currently available.
The several screening tests that were done over a period of time in the region, were carried out by ministry officials who would have visited the area. They are additionally promising to have more done to detect these cases in their early stage, which will act as a ‘curable’ measure.
It was reminded that the Ministry is looking towards the continuation of taking services to these far-flung regions, rather than having the population visit areas that might be out of their proximity, and therefore consuming valuable resources.
On that note, it was noted that only four percent of Guyana’s population currently detects cancer at an early stage, hence making the disease fatal for most of the remaining percentage.
Guyana is presently at a stage where girls as young as 24 to 26 are being diagnosed with cervical cancer; hence, campaigns are being launched to target this gender that is proven to be most affected by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) that leads to cervical and other types of cancer.
The Pan American Health Organization/ World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) recently documented “In Guyana, during the period 2003 – 2012, Guyana recorded 6,518 new cases of cancers for an overall cumulative incidence rate of 867.7 per 100,000 population. Of the 3,956 sixty percent were females and 2,561 thirty nine percent were males, giving a female to male ratio of 1.54:1.”
It was during this period that the last statistics given displayed a jaw-dropping 1090 cases of breast cancer and 1014 cases reported of cancer in the cervix, which according to recent reports have climbed above the numbers of what was then the leading cancer.
Existing data also highlights 865 cases of prostate cancer, 440 cases of colo-rectal; 325 cases of cancer in the uterus, 240 cases of stomach cancer, 233 cases of lung cancer, 219 cases of liver cancer, 212 cases of cancer of the ovary and 136 cases of lymphoma.
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