More than half the respondents to a caymancompass.com online poll support the establishment of a mandatory cancer registry either unconditionally or conditionally with guaranteed confidentiality.
Of the 536 total respondents, the largest segment – 193 people or 36 percent – said they supported the mandatory cancer registry with guaranteed confidentiality.
“We absolutely must have this registry,” said one person. “Equally, we must have patient confidentiality. Therefore, given Cayman’s extremely poor track record of doing anything like this right … this registry needs to be outsourced, off island to India or the Philippines, somewhere beyond the reach of residents.”
“I believe that [a registry] could help the country in possibly finding out what is causing so many cases of cancer popping up in such a small country,” said another person, “but I also think that if a person doesn’t want the whole community to know who they are, it should be confidential.”
“Why not simply make it mandatory for doctors to report summary info – sex, age, type of cancer, stage, district, etc., with nothing to identify the person,” asked someone else.
“If a mandatory registry can help save lives, it would be well worth it,” said one person. “But I do feel that a person has a right to confidentiality in the event that they wish to remain anonymous and not have their name mentioned publicly.”
Another 102 people – 19 percent – gave unconditional support to a mandatory cancer registry.
“Once a patient has been diagnosed with cancer, the information is already available to the medical insurance company and also to foreign cancer registries if the patient had diagnosis or treatment in U.S., as they are automatically reported,” said one person.
“It’s important to know the proportion of cancers that are here to ensure resources for both treatment and prevention are directed toward the greatest need,” said another person.
“It’s vitally important,” said someone else. “Research is suggesting that cancer may have an environmental route, and could be influenced by where you live and the surrounding influences on your body. If we don’t have a registry, we won’t know what types of cancer are prevalent in Cayman and how many cases there are.”
“Cancer registries are common throughout the world and it’s important to know the incidence rate, and essential to know the epidemiology for preventive measures and screening,” commented one person.
“A large segment of respondents did not support the mandatory cancer registry, with 149 of them – 27.8 percent – having a negative impression of the idea because they believe a person’s health is a private matter.
“It’s hard to see what benefit this registry would have,” said one respondent. “At best, the registry is probably benign and needless; at worst, a potential source for privacy issues.”
“Forcing people to provide information about the incidence or prevalence of a condition is meaningless,” said someone else. “What is needed is detailed epidemiological studies that can be used to identify common factors or causative factors that can help us to prevent rather than document the incidence of cancer in a population with a large transitory element.”
“The patient should have the choice who should know and who shouldn’t,” said another person.
Fifty people disagreed with a mandatory cancer registry because they didn’t trust the recipients of the information.
“The people in the government just can’t be trusted in keeping information confidential,” said one person.
“Why do they need people’s names?” asked someone else.
Thirty-five people said they didn’t know enough about the mandatory cancer registry and another seven respondents said they didn’t care either way.
“There are benefits to this but need to know more about it,” said one person.
Next week’s poll question
What are your plans for the Easter holiday?
- Camping on the beach
- Traveling off island
- Staying at home
To participate in this poll, visit www.caymancompass.com.