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Dec 9, 2021

Cancer Center Opens in Belize City

The Belize Cancer Society has long been offering cancer care information, counseling and support to cancer patients and their families. Today, the Belize City office on Mercy Lane opened a cancer care facility where cancer patients can go for actual treatment and care. The opening came through kind and generous donations from some business people and their families who have been supportive of the Society’s work since its inception. Marion Ali was present for the opening and filed this report.


Marion Ali, Reporting

Thirteen years after the Dangriga Cancer Treatment Centre was opened to treat patients, its Belize City branch was opened. Medical Director of the facility, Dr. Elsworth Grant told News Five that there was an urgent need for a centre that is more centrally-located.


Dr. Elsworth Grant

Dr. Elsworth Grant, Medical Director, Belize City Cancer Centre

“A majority of the patients are from the city and from up north. So having a centre in the city will help to serve the needs of the patients in the city as well as from those up north a lot better, making care a lot more accessible to them, principally in terms of travel. If you have to come from up north, that’s an all-day journey, whereas here in the city you cut your travel time.”


CEO of the facility, Dellone Pascacio says once you get that bad news, you can seek their help.


Dellone Pascacio

Dellone Pascacio, CEO, Belize Cancer Centre

“Anyone can come here. As our sign says here, everyone is welcome. We see individuals on our side, is the treatment side with a confirmed diagnosis of cancer. This facility is actually in partnership with the Belize Cancer Society, and their piece of it is more the education, the awareness, the linking of support and the navigation of individuals who need to get somewhere. The information is gathered as part of the referral package, and the clinical information is sent off to Dr. Grant. That is sent electronically. He will respond to that information  within three to five days unless they are additional testing he wants done. Once he has looked at all of it, then he sends a treatment plan. The nurse who is here, contacts the patient and says “We have a treatment plan for you, can you come in and talk to us?”


One of the persons you will likely meet is Nurse Pauline Okolo, who is really the one who will walk with you every step of the way.


Nurse Pauline Okolo

Nurse Pauline Okolo, Cancer Treatment Centre

“You just focus, try be as calm as possible as the nurse, to be able to council those cancer patients. Its not easy, but we do it to the best of our ability.”

While the facility will not offer radiation therapy for complex types of cancer like brain cancer, it will cater to people who are suffering from almost any other type of cancer.


Dr. Elsworth Grant

“This facility will offer consultation services as well as chemotherapy services to treat lung cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, some of the lymphomas, I should not forget our pediatric patients who – in Dangriga we have been collaborating with Dr Gonzalez in Merida to provide care for those kids. But again having something to them closer in the city will improve their quality of life as well and we hope to continue improving their survival from leukemia. Chemotherapy for cervical cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer treatments could all be done right here.”


The level of treatment for these types of diseases are usually accompanied by steep medical bills, but the cost for people who cannot afford the treatment can be subsidized by donors. Those who can pay will be asked to.

Marion Ali For News Five.


Dr. Grant says that while statistics are scarce on most common types of cancers in Belize, from his observation, cervical and breast cancer are still among the most common.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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