Receiving a cancer diagnosis is a frightening experience for both patients and their loved ones. Living on an island with limited medical resources can often increase patients’ anxiety about where to obtain specialist healthcare.
However, there are several facilities, locally, which offer cancer treatment services and support. These include:
Health Services Authority
The Health Services Authority cancer care services involve a multidisciplinary and compassionate team of physicians, nurses, pharmacists and support staff dedicated to providing education and treatment to ensure the best outcome for every patient.
From detection to diagnosis and treatment therapies, the team works collaboratively with patients and families to develop an individualised plan of care for the entire treatment and recovery process.
This includes state-of-the-art breast cancer diagnostic services and digital mammography at the Cayman Islands Hospital, and a range of clinical services including oncology, haematology, genetic and mutation testing, lab services, and pharmacy services.
The specially trained team provides psychological and emotional support to ensure patients and family members have sufficient information throughout the treatment programme.
Located on Pines Drive (off Smith Road), the chemotherapy unit was purpose-built with patients’ comfort in mind to improve ease of treatment, as well as provide convenience and a private and tranquil atmosphere to support healing.
Health City Cayman Islands
A dedicated cancer centre being built at Health City Cayman Islands is due to be completed in the autumn of 2020.
The new cancer treatment centre will allow Health City to provide greatly expanded treatment options, including medical oncology, surgical oncology and radiation therapy, in addition to offering a bone marrow transplants.
The centre, which will include accommodation for overseas patients, will be the first such facility for the Cayman Islands, and, according to Health City, will feature technology used nowhere else in the region.
It will serve as a complement and expansion to the current cancer detection and treatment capabilities offered in Cayman, and Health City will work hand-in-hand with the Health Services Authority as well as private physicians to offer treatment to local patients.
Baptist Health International
Baptist Health, South Florida is one of the largest international health divisions in the United States and has been serving the needs of Caymanians for many years.
Baptist Health International’s location on Smith Road, George Town, now offers PET and CT imaging services. The clinic offers easy scheduling, handles the pre-authorisation with insurance companies, and provides most imaging results within 24 to 48 hours.
CTMH Doctors Hospital
Located on Middle Road in George Town, CTMH Doctors Hospital is committed to providing patient-centred oncology care that is convenient, close to home and in a private, comfortable setting. The facility offers, high-quality, safe and holistic oncology services including screening and early detection, staging, surgical treatment, chemotherapy infusion, supportive care, symptom management and nutritional counselling. The oncology team at CTMH Doctors Hospital, including a full-time, on-island medical oncologist, has an unwavering commitment to providing compassionate care to those dealing with cancer.
Dr. Theodore Turnquest from The Bahamas, who has been a visiting specialist for more than 10 years, offers oncology services in Cayman. He started out at Chrissie Tomlinson Memorial Hospital but now has an office in Pasadora Place.
Dr. Turnquest’s regular schedule is every other Friday, depending on the needs of the patients. He offers chemotherapy, oral chemotherapy, immune therapy and supportive care. Consultations are by appointment.
Cayman Islands Cancer Society
Providing support to cancer patients and their families, the Cayman Islands Cancer Society also promotes awareness of cancer and educates people about cancer risks at public presentations and health fairs.
Additionally, the society promotes early detection of cancer through its five charity voucher programmes, and provides HPV vaccinations, free, through public health and school programmes.
The Cancer Society also gives needs-based financial aid to cancer patients in Cayman. In terms of large-scale projects, it has provided state-of-the-art mammogram technology for the public hospital and funded a purpose-built chemotherapy unit for the benefit of the whole community.
The Cancer Society receives no government funding but works collaboratively with many charities and organisations on-island, and relies entirely on donations to fund its work, adding to its coffers through various fundraising activities. These events include the Stride Against Cancer walk, Ice on Ice, the annual Cancer Survivors Dinner, Pilates in Pink, 7 Summits Challenge, and Kiting for Cancer.
The Breast Cancer Foundation
The Breast Cancer Foundation offers financial support to local charities that provide treatment for, and education on, breast cancer. As well as supporting work in the awareness, treatment and prevention of the disease, the foundation helps provide vital training and medical equipment which directly benefits breast cancer sufferers.
The Breast Cancer Foundation also has a wellness programme which aids in supporting patients through complimentary services such as counselling, massage treatments and exercise classes.
The organisation is able to provide these services thanks to donations and annual fundraising events. It hosts one of the biggest events of the gala season every October and Light Up the Night full moon walk each spring, as well as regularly promoting awareness of breast cancer through educational sessions at organisations around Cayman.
Jasmine, formerly known as Cayman HospiceCare, provides end-of-life care for persons with cancer or other terminal illnesses. As well as comfortable and dignified free care, the service offers support to families affected by a recent loss.
The charity relies on donations, with events such as its annual Big Bash, Burns Supper and Flag Day.
Jasmine runs several volunteer initiatives, including a clinical programme that allows participants to assist patients with transportation and running errands, as well as providing companionship to those without family of their own.
It also has a bereavement programme and a range of free holistic services for patients, including yoga, therapy and counselling.
Jasmine villa, which opened in 2019, has residential space for patients and their families.