GIS: The Cancer Centre Eastern Caribbean was Launched in July 2015 in Antigua.
The Minister for Health and Wellness, Sen. Hon. Mary Isaac, has voiced OECS governments’ support for The Cancer Centre Eastern Caribbean (TCCEC).
The Cancer Centre Eastern Caribbean (TCCEC), was launched in July 2015 in Antigua, and offers high quality oncology services including radiation treatment. The Cancer Centre-Saint Lucia, a branch of TCCEC, opened six months ago at the Tapion Hospital. The Saint Lucia branch offers oncologic consultations and systemic therapy.
“We need to raise awareness about the Cancer Centre,” Ms. Isaac said, at an Oct. 7 networking session for physicians and other cancer care partners. “I do not think that sufficient people are embracing the center. We need to get the information out.”
The regional cancer treatment facility is equipped with the latest technologies in cancer treatment, which allow for precise targeting and treatment of malignant tumors.
Dr. Thomas McGowan is the Medical Director at TCCEC.
“Now with 3D technology, it is incredibly sophisticated. We can sculpt the dose so tightly. We can treat a high dose to the bone and a low dose to the spine. It is much more complex.”
Chairman and Executive Director of TCCEC, Dr. Conville Brown, said despite the high cost of cancer treatment worldwide, the centre has worked out special packages for OECS governments.
“The cost of radiation therapy in some instances can cost you up to US$100,000 or more. One of the commitments that we made way back in 2009 is that we would get that cost down for the OECS patient – particularly the less fortunate ones. We were able to cut the cost down to US10,000 per patient.”
The OECS will soon roll out a complete inventory of health facilities to more strategically map where centers of excellence in healthcare should be located. Director General of the OECS, Dr. Didacus Jules, also challenged insurance companies to provide greater support.
“Where you go should not be a matter of relying on government to provide those finances. The insurance companies have to kick in. If we have a Caribbean Centre of Excellence for cancer care, then anyone who has health insurance, the company should recognize that centre for facilitating treatment.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) places cancer as one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide and was responsible for 8.8 million deaths in 2015. Globally nearly one 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer. Positive health outcomes are the result of early diagnosis, treatment, and management of cancer.