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Cancer Info Suggests Rate Increase
Antigua and Barbuda Created: 23 Aug 2011
Antigua St John's - Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Rhonda Sealy-Thomas has said data currently being analyzed indicates an increasing rate of cancers in Antigua & Barbuda.

She was responding to questions from Caribarena.com during the telecommunications ministry’s press conference on August 19.

Although the focus of the conference was cell phone tower radiation, the CMO answered supplementary questions and revealed that, in co-ordination with Dr Lester Simon (former government pathologist and director of Medpath Clinic), the Ministry of Health had been carrying out statistical research into the frequency of cancers in Antigua & Barbuda.

The CMO explained that the data was sourced from existing records and covers the decade 1999 to 2009. The scope of the study covers all types of cancers. The period of data gathering has been completed, but the data is still undergoing some analysis.

While Dr Sealy-Thomas declined to reveal any of the study’s core findings prior to completion of the analysis, she did note that cancer cases in general are on the increase in Antigua & Barbuda. The CMO connected this phenomenon to the general worldwide increase in cases of cancer of all types, some of which are attributable to lifestyle factors.

For the CMO, even in a peripheral manner, to posit an increasing rate of cancer cases for Antigua & Barbuda would surely strike a somber note at a meeting called to report on the safety (or not) of cell phone tower radio frequency emissions.

While she was careful not to suggest any connection between an observed increase in cancers and any cause other than lifestyle factors, there is no logical way to escape the possibility of a connection to (for example) cell phone or other electro-magnetic radiation.

It is reasonable to infer that the Ministry of Health is expending scarce resources on research into the statistics of cancer because the matter is deemed worth studying. It would be pleasant to further infer that the ministry’s interest is sparked by a significant decline in cancer cases in the country. Research into the incidence of cancer is valuable under any circumstances, but especially so when cancer rates are judged to be increasing.

Caribarena.com finds it significant that much of the impetus to carry out research into cancer rates in Antigua & Barbuda comes from former pathologist Dr Simon.

Caribarena.com recently published statistical data that appears to show an increasing rate of cancer mortality in Antigua & Barbuda since the mid-1990s (see “Who Will Switch The Microwave Off" – June 1). The trend toward increase begins some 20 years after the Caribbean Relay Company at Lightfoot’s began (1975) to broadcast the BBC and Deutsche Welle into Latin America.

The information is provided by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). PAHO and WHO (World Health Organization) are practically joined at the hip.

Dr Sealy-Thomas indicated that the ultimate release of the cancer study findings is not far off.
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Source: Caribarena, COLIN SAMPSON, 23 Aug 2011

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