[www.inewsguyana.com] – A report from the Ministry of Health shows that cancer has been the third leading cause of mortality in Guyana with Ischemic Heart Diseases coming at second and Cerebrovascular Diseases at number one. Prostate, breast, lung and cervical cancers are the main categories affecting the Guyanese population.
According to the Government Information Agency, the report shows that during the period of 2004-2011 over 3400 persons died from various forms of cancer, with the largest number of deaths being 621 in 2011.
Guyana has the third highest rate of cervical cancer in the Western hemisphere. Afro-Guyanese account for over 65% of prostate cancer, whereas Indo-Guyanese women had the highest cases of breast cancer-45.
Today, January 4, Guyana joins with the rest of the world in observing World Cancer Day, under the theme “debunk the myth”.
Although genetic influences increase the risk for developing certain cancers, lifestyles, diets and socio-economic status also play a significant role in the determination of who will be afflicted. The Ministry has been implementing programmes and strategies to aggressively tackle this issue. It continues its national response to ensure preventative methods such as immunisation against cervical cancer and screening are made available to the population, and has also put in place a programme for young women to undertake the Visual Inspection using Acetic Acid (VIA) or a Pap screening for cervical cancer. Thus far, over 15,000 people have been tested for cervical cancer.