Currently, 175 women are receiving treatment for breast cancer at the Scarborough General Hospital.
So revealed Health Secretary Dr Agatha Carrington, as she announced on Wednesday that the Division of Health, Wellness and Family Development, in collaboration with Washington School of Medicine, will begin breast cancer research and data collection in the next two weeks in Tobago.
Speaking at the Post Executive Council media briefing at the Administrative Complex in Calder Hall, Carrington, said She added that research will focus on the molecular epidemiology of breast cancer on the island.
“We have had the approval for undertaking this study and we have been doing all the background work in terms of having the notes for patients who were treated in Trinidad. We were doing the logistical support required to ensure that when we start the research we can move quickly with it,” she said.
“We are trying to understand the genetic makeup of these cancers that we have in our women. We think it is important for us to know since we have been looking at prostate cancer in our population and we have not done the kind of work in respect to breast cancer. We are treating breast cancer but we are not studying it in the kind of way we should and that is what we are trying to do. “
She said training, screening and revising services provided to breast cancer patients would also be done with the establishment of a breast health service and pink room service to provide intense care and support.
Carrington also said Tobago has submitted a non-communicable diseases registry for the Framework Plan for Non-communicable Diseases and that proposals would allow the Division to access funding to pursue research to reduce the (diabetic) amputations, bullying in schools and men’s health, with a focus on health promotion and disease prevention.
On research in measuring causes and impact of violence against women and girls, Carrington said Tobago was ready to start data collection.
“We have some data but we have not measured the economic cost and that is another study expects to soon happen.”
Carrington also advised that the Division will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Children’s Authority of Trinidad and Tobago on August 3, and that one of the aims would be to ensure the readiness of all facilities for children.