Assembly calls for in-depth study into reasons for rise in cancer cases


A motion tabled by elected member for Pointe Larue Jenifer Vel, and which was approved by the Assembly, was asking the government to conduct an in-depth study into the reasons for such high incidence and prevalence of the disease and where possible intensify its early detection.

In her presentation, Ms Vel said the motion is timely as it will boost the population awareness on a disease which is the concern of us all who has friends or family members who have died or are suffering from the disease.

Ms Vel stressed that the study the motion is calling for is research and development-oriented with various components such as fact-finding and stocktaking to establish interrelations between certain factors and also the truth from certain beliefs rampant among certain groups of our population.

With regard to the fact-finding aspect, Ms Vel said the study will for instance establish the risk factors.

She noted we already know that there are hereditary factors which make certain people more at risk than others but there are also factors related to nutrition; that is the food we eat such as junk food and food which are genetically modified, lifestyle, stress, consumption of cigarettes and alcohol.

She said the study will also clearly show if chemicals in fruit and vegetables and fish are also responsible for an increase in the disease.

She noted that lack of exercise being a risk factor will also be studied.
With regard to stock-taking, Ms Vel said that the study will identify the shortcomings, weaknesses and also the strengths of our public health system in the fight against the disease.
It will also establish if the Ministry of Health needs more equipment, medical professionals or if the system will be more efficient through certain reorganisations.

Ms Vel noted that the study will also have an international component because it will make references to best practices from other countries which could be introduced here.

The study will also have a validation component because it will establish on a scientific basis the level of truth from certain beliefs and perception among our population.

Ms Vel said she recognises that several studies on cancer have been conducted by professionals from the Ministry of Health but noted that this new study being proposed will be on a larger scale and the results of previous studies will be revised and validated based on the new findings.  

She pointed out that once the study would be completed, the findings would be integrated in a plan of action called a programme for the fight against cancer.

All members who presented arguments on the motion agreed that cancer is a disease resulting from developments taking place in many countries and which is getting more and more costly to treat.

They also agreed that people should take better care of their health and government should intensify its detection and prevention measures.

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