Cancer survivorship in the Caribbean

There was a point in time when having a diagnosis of cancer meant death would soon come. The thought that someone would live years and years after after being treated for cancer and declared cancer free was unimaginable.

I was a young child, around eight years old, when I first learned that my paternal grandmother had had breast cancer. Everyone marveled at her strength, as someone who had beat cancer, a survivor. That my grandmother lived in Dominica also fed into the surprise that people expressed.

Many, Many years later, my grandmother, the cancer survivor, is still beating the odds.

Cancer survivorship, beyond that of my grandmother, is not something I was used to hearing much about growing up in the Caribbean. But with advanced medical care throughout the region, more and more people are living beyond the diagnosis of cancer.

Shirley Smith – Cancer Survivorship Testimonial:


According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 32 million people worldwide who have lived five years beyond their cancer diagnosis. That number is expected to grow rapidly in the next few decades as the number of people diagnoses increases.

So, what does it mean to be a cancer survivor in the Caribbean? If you are a cancer survivor, share your experiences with us.

Do you have a family member or friend who was diagnosed with cancer? Share your stories as well.

We’d love to hear from you.

To learn more about the Inaugural Caribbean Cancer Survivorship Conference, go to:




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