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Committed & United Approach Needed to Tackle Cancer PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 04 February 2013 11:27

Minister of Health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson says the reduction of the prevalence of cancers and other lifestyle diseases requires a committed and united approach involving not just the Ministry of Health but all of government as well as civil society, persons living with and affected by cancer, private sector and academia.


In his message to mark World Cancer Day 2013, Dr. Ferguson urged persons to get the facts about cancer. This year’sfocus is on Target 5 of the World Cancer Declaration: Dispel damaging myths and misconceptions about cancer, under the tagline “Cancer - Did you know?”.


The myths include: “Cancer is just a health issue”; “Cancer is a disease of the wealthy, elderly and developed countries”; “Cancer is a death sentence”; and “Cancer is my fate”.


“The truth is that cancer has wide reaching social, economic and development implications. There is no specific age group that is affected; the disease affects persons from all age and socio-economic groups. The good news is that more than 30% of cancers could be prevented and cured if detected early and treated adequately,” Dr. Ferguson stated.


He said “some of the ways we can prevent cancer is by not smoking, sticking to a healthy diet, becoming more physically active, visiting our doctor to assess our cancer risk and getting screened.”


Some of the initiative so far taken by the Ministry in an effort to address the cancer issue include the development of a National Technical Working Group/Task Force on Cancer Prevention and Control to develop that component of the National Strategic Plan for the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases in Jamaica 2012 – 2017 and a recently opened Ambulatory Chemotherapy Unit at the Kingston Public Hospital.


According to data from the Registrar General’s Department, in 2010, 3198, Jamaicans died due to cancer. The three most common types of cancer that kill Jamaican men are prostate, lung and colorectal and for women they are breast, cervix and colorectal cancer.



 Contact: MOH, Public Relations Unit Tel: 967-1561

You can view this press release and other information on our website at


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