The Belize Cancer Center Dangriga (BCCD) opened its doors on October 1st, 2008. The BCCD is celebrating its tenth year anniversary today and continues with its commitment to bring accessible cancer care to all Belizeans. To date, the BCCD remains the only cancer center in the country and it has provided oncology consultations and chemotherapy to over 1,100 Belizeans. Love News spoke to Doctor Ellsworth Grant who says though a milestone has been reached, the work continues.
Doctor Ellsworth Grant: “Ten years ago when we opened it was really an attempt to address a crisis Cancer care in the country. Ten years later it still remains a crisis and we are an option for people to be treated and when I mentioned the issue of crisis it’s not only on the treatment side and lack of certain services like radiation and specialty pathology care but it’s also a crisis in people coming in to late with their diagnosis. We still see to many people with advanced cancer and when you have advanced cancer its difficult to make the impact you want to make. We did make the impact in certain areas that we wanted to, prior to starting the clinic children with acute leukemia were dying at an alarming rate from a disease which was entirely curable and with our partners in Merida. Dr. Pablo Gonzalez we were able to increase survival of children with leukemia from 38% to 78% since our years in existence. Similarly we have been able to make an impact in other curable malignancies, cancers such as Testicular Carcinoma and some of the Lymph Node Cancer called Lymphoma. In many ways we have made the impact that we want but we still have a long way to go.”
Dr. Grant, who is also celebrating his birthday today, says he acknowledges the Belize Cancer Center Dangriga Staff, the Ministry of Health and in particular, the Southern Regional Hospital, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, the Belize Cancer Society and the Social Security Board for their valued partnership.