Since the Cayman Islands cancer registry got started in 2010, more than 300 have signed up.
But the Health Services Authority’s cancer registrar Amanda Nicholson told Cayman 27 the country is still a long way from having enough information to paint an accurate picture of cancer in our islands.
“Without cancer registry data we don’t know how many people get cancer here, what kinds of cancer are the most common, and if you don’t have a base of information like that it becomes really really difficult to plan for cancer management and prevention in a population.”
She said unlike communicable diseases like Zika or HIV, there is no mandatory reporting for cancer in the Cayman Islands. Therefore, the cancer registry relies on patients and survivors to provide the registry with their information. Ms. Nicholson said getting signed up takes just a few minutes.
“I think a lot of folks have the impression that it’s a lot of forms and paperwork and just one more tedious thing you have to do, but actually it’s just one page and the questions are the kind of things that they would know off the top of their heads,” said Ms. Nicholson.
She stressed data collected by the registry is strictly controlled to protect patient confidentiality.
“We don’t use the patients name, we use an eight digit identifier and the kind of information that we generate is aggregate data so, statistics, nothing that ever identifies an individual,” said Ms. Nicholson.
She said the anonymised data is indispensable in helping plan for and prevent future cancer.
To add your information to the Cayman cancer registry, you can call Ms. Nicholson at 244-2560, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or pay her a face-to-face visit on the second floor of the Cayman Islands Hospital.