cancerAround the globe, today is observed as World Cancer Day.  This year's theme is “Not beyond us”. Cancers are among the leading causes of death worldwide, with approximately 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths in 2012. Yet thanks to breakthroughs in research and treatment, cancer survival rates have doubled in the last 40 years. In commemoration of today’s event, the Belize Cancer Society held a press conference in Belize City where the organizations President, Laura Longsworth, shared on the significance of this year’s theme.


Laura Longsworth – President of Belize Cancer Society


“Not beyond us is extreme significance because it means we have advanced scientifically and technologically and we know for sure what we need to do to reduce the incident of cancer and to make sure to detect cancer a little earlier and also to reduce the burden of cancer on people and country so that is really the crooks of it.  The World Cancer Day is really to bring attention to the issue of cancer globally; countries like Belize the burden of cancer is heavy enough and it is expected to grow unless we reverse it so globally there is a movement to put systems and structures in place to ensure that by 2025 we start to see the results of the initiative that we put in place.”


According to Longsworth, when it comes to statistics for Belize, 10 to 12 percent are victims that perish due to the silent killer.


Laura Longsworth – President of Belize Cancer Society


“Our latest statistics for the region shows that anywhere from 10 to 12 percent of persons dying are related to cancer deaths but more importantly there are some key cancers that it really affecting Belizeans; for men especially the Prostate Cancer rates are high and also for women cervical cancer which is completely curable, treatable and preventable is leading cancer for women and breast cancer is right behind, in other parts of the world breast cancer is leading and perhaps it could be that it similar in Belize but our statistics are not as reliable as it should be because we don’t have a formal registry, but nevertheless, our health information system can capture this data and so we know what is happening in that regard.”


Longworth added that it is very important to have a national plan when dealing with Cancer.


Laura Longsworth – President of Belize Cancer Society


“It is extremely important because that is exactly World Cancer Day is all about is to remind all of us that a comprehensive national cancer plan and program is critically important because it needs for us to have things in place, we have to have the systems that can provide the entire package of prevention primary preventions; education then screening, then treatment then of course quality care, pain control we have a right to a certain level of comfort and a certain quality of life and if we have the technology, we have the scientific data, we even have the resources that we need to look at it and organize ourselves to do better in terms of cancer care, through our lobbying efforts we gotten as far as having a comprehensive draft, a comprehensive program with support from the ministry of health and Pan American health.”


The theme for 2015 is "Not beyond Us" – to take a positive approach to the fight against cancer and highlight the new treatments and solutions within reach.


This year, the campaign will focus on four key areas: choosing healthy lives, delivering early detection, achieving treatment for all and maximizing quality of life.

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