Pacific Cancer Programs

Republic of Palau Cancer Prevention and Control Program

Download Palau documents

The goals of the National Cancer Strategic Plan for Palau are to reduce cancer incidence, morbidity and mortality in Palau through prevention, screening, treatment and palliative support. The Plan was put together by the Ministry of Heath in collaboration with OMUB (Community Advisory Council for Cancer in Palau), and is supported by funding from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USA).

The Plan documents the heavy burden of cancer in Palau in terms of cost and suffering to the families and clans. It is clear that the burden of cancer leads to increased on and off-island health care costs. However, what is not captured is the loss of earning potential, and associated mental and social issues. The Plan provides a framework by which data can be managed and used to guide activities to ensure that limited resources are spent in a cost-effective and beneficial manner.

Prevention efforts could reduce the rates of certain cancers by addressing the identified determinants of cancer such as tobacco and alcohol use, which are currently addressed under the Palau Non-Communicable Disease Strategic Plan and the Division of Behavioral Health Strategic Plan. The Plan also supports and applauds the efforts to prevent sexually transmitted diseases as addressed in the HIV/AIDS/STD Strategic Plan. Cancer prevention, detection, and treatment services have been provided by other sectors within the Bureau of Public Health, including the Family Health Program and Home Health-Geriatric Program. While limited cancer surgery can be done locally, most tertiary cancer care is sent off island to Tripler Army Medical Center or to tertiary centers in Philippines.

The Plan also highlights the necessity for the availability of tertiary and quaternary care to be at the forefront of discussion. The lack of trained oncologists, radiation and chemotherapy treatment availability, and other critical diagnostic services necessitate clients be sent off-island for cancer care. The Plan recognizes the limited resources in Palau, but clearly outlines areas of improvement when feasible.

Cancer survivors will continue to grow in numbers during the next decade as better treatment becomes available. The goals of this plan are to ensure that these survivors continue to lead healthy and productive lives with and beyond cancer. Survivorship standards will be addressed for individuals, families, healthcare professionals and businesses. When cancer leads to a terminal diagnosis, these patients must receive compassionate care and pain management.

Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan (CCC) Plan

The description of the current health care delivery system highlights where significant gaps exist. It is hoped that by implementing this plan though the listed goals, Palau will be able to expand its cancer screening program to include prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, oral cancer, and colorectal cancer. Most importantly, Palau needs to be able to provide some form of cancer treatment. Palau recognizes that sending patient off-island for treatment not only depletes financial resources for the Ministry of Health, but also contributes to emotional turmoil for individual patients and their families. It is hoped that with the implementation of the comprehensive cancer control program, Palau will be able to improve its infrastructure to provide some sort of treatment to cancer patients. Lastly, Palau needs to improve the availability of survivorship and palliative care programs for patients. This will ensure that patients can receive care at home, and have access to the survivor and palliative care they require,thus allowing patients to live comfortably if the disease progresses.

The overall goals of this proposed plan will be as follows:

  1. To reduce and prevent the incidence of cancer through education and behavioral change strategies.
  2. To detect all cancer cases at the earliest possible stage, and ensure the coordination of cancer management services through the Palau National Cancer Prevention and Control Program.
  3. To improve the quality and availability of cancer treatment in Palau.
  4. To provide physical, social, mental and spiritual care to assist people with cancer to ensure quality of life as his/her cancer progresses.
  5. To assist cancer patients in pain and symptom management as cancer progresses.

Comprehensive Cancer Control (CCC) Plan Download

Cancer Council of the Pacific Islands (CCPI) Members

Edolem Ikerdeu

Edolem Ikerdeu

  • Title: Palau CCPI Director
Dr. Sylvia Osarch

Dr. Sylvia Osarch

  • Title: Palau CCPI Director

Contact Information

Irish Tutii

Irish Tutii

  • Title: Palau Cancer Registrar; Palau Comprehensive Cancer Control Coordinator
  • or
  • Tel: (680) 488-2212 ext. 234
  • Fax: (680) 488-4800
  • Address:
    Cancer Prevention and Control Program
    Non-Communicable Disease Unit, Ministry of Health
    P.O. Box 6027
    Koror, Palau 96940
Adeline melil Santos

Adeline Melil Santos

  • Title: Part-time Data Collection Specialist
  • Email: or
  • Tel: (680) 488-2554
  • Fax: (680) 488-1211
  • Address:
    Palau Cancer Registry
    Non-Communicable Disease Unit, Ministry of Health
    P.O. Box 6027 Koror, Republic of Palau

Funding for this website was made possible by a cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, through the following:
Pacific CEED, award #: 5U58DP000976,USAPI Community Health Interventions Project (CHIP), award #: 1U58DP005810,
Pacific Regional Central Cancer Registry, award #: 5U58DP003906; Regional Comprehensive Cancer Control Program, award #: U55/CCU923887.
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Funding Sources: PRCCR: #: 5U58DP003906  | Pacific REACH: #: 1U58DP005810 | RCCC: #: U55/CCU923887 

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