Govt to establish brachytherapy facility in Guyana

…will eliminate need for cancer patients to travel abroad

Government is in discussion to establish a local brachytherapy facility, with the aim to end the need for patients to travel abroad for treatment.
This is according to Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony, who made the announcement at the launch of the new Action Plan for the Elimination of Cervical Cancer last week.
According to the minister the plans to complete this initiative are derived from talks between the Health Ministry and the Mount Sinai Health System in New York. “We have been talking to Mount Sinai to help us to design what that brachytherapy unit will look like and what are the types of equipment that we will need to have there,” he stated whilst then adding that once that information is relayed towards them, the respective works will be put into motion.

Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony speaking at the event

Meanwhile, he underscored that locals who are currently in the need for brachytherapy have to travel as far as Trinidad and Suriname to undergo treatment and he expressed that the implementations of the system within Guyana will erase the need for Guyanese patients to do so.
“We want to make sure that Brachytherapy services are right here within Guyana, Cervical Cancer is second on the list of cancer registry after breast cancer and with these new implementations we can reduce that,” he expressed.
Dr Anthony reassured cancer patients at the event that this initiative serves as one of the commitments that the Government has made which refers to ensuring that they can provide brachytherapy towards locals who are in need of it. About $2.8 billion is set aside to subsidise cervical cancer testing, to benefit approximately 350,000 persons this year.
Brachytherapy is a type of cancer treatment where radioactive sources are placed directly inside or near the tumor. It delivers high doses of radiation to the tumor while minimising exposure to surrounding healthy tissues. It’s commonly used to treat various types of cancer, including prostate, cervical, breast, and skin cancers. (G2)