By BBN Staff: Following the celebration of World Cancer Day, the Ministry of Health (MHO) held a meeting with various health sector entities to discuss setting up a national cancer registry.
According to the MOH, the most reliable source of cancer data in Belize is the mortality data the ministry receives after cancer patients have died. The ministry held the meeting along with clinicians, pathologists, and the Belize Cancer Society, to discuss how the registry would be set up and what role each party would play in its establishment and operation.
The data gathered in the registry would inform the health sector, and policymakers about established or emerging trends, as well as treatment options that need to be explored. Sources within the MOH told Breaking Belize News that the registry could be operational in as little as eight months time.
As previously reported, over 1,400 people have died from a form of cancer in Belize in the past ten years. The risk of Belizeans contracting cancer is increased due to the high prevalence of obesity in the country.
The Belize Cancer Society held an obesity workshop last week, to discuss how obesity is bringing Belizeans closer to contracting cancer early in life. At the workshop, the Cancer Society, Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP), and Dr. Beverly Barnett, consultant with the Healthy Caribbean Commission all agreed that Belize is way behind in terms of having current data which can help inform policy decisions.