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PINKTOBER: Fiji Needs A Collective Effort To Rid Us Of This Cancer Problem

PINKTOBER: Fiji Needs A Collective Effort To Rid Us Of This Cancer Problem
ANZ and Fiji Cancer Society staff members and their families during their Pink Walk to launch Pinktober earlier this month. Photo: ANZ Fiji
October 12
11:00 2017

Expect more coverage for a range of pink-themed events in the media for the rest of October as the month-long breast cancer awareness campaign forges ahead.

In Fiji, rising mortality rates of the incurable disease has put its early detection and prevention under the microscope.

An estimated 18 people (per 100,000) die every year from breast cancer. The disease kills men at a slower rate than women; however, the overall rate of mortality has increased by an alarming 51 percent since 1990.

Women are killed at the highest rate from breast cancer in Fiji. It is least likely to cause death in women ranging from ages 20 to 24.

Yet, at 246.5 deaths per 100,000 women in 2013, the peak mortality rate for women was higher than that of men, which was 1.8 per 100,000 men.

The World Health Organisation sees late detection as a major impediment to treatment. Cancers, diagnosed in advanced stages, are more difficult to treat, even with state-of-the-art medical technology and services.

The emotional element of the cell overgrowth disease will also feature prominently in the many awareness programmes and fundraisers lined-up this month.

These events will likely aim to create an environment encouraging openness and social acceptance for patients of breast cancer 

On Monday (09/10), Fiji Sun ran the story of Eparama Jale, who is one of the two surviving male victims of breast cancer (sadly, the other three died).

He said: “It is just not normal for a man to have this type of pain on his breast.

“The doctor’s confirmation shocked me. I did not know how I was going to relate to my family that I had being diagnosed with breast cancer.”

Most men believe the gender is immune to breast cancer. It could be emphasised more how false this is.

These awareness programmes will work towards helping both men and women comprehend that “It is just not normal” for ANYONE to have this type of pain in their breasts.

The society at large must also aid the efforts. The Fiji Cancer Society, in its intent to remove the barriers restricting early cancer detection, cannot succeed without the support of the Fijian people.

Not just society, but our Fijian cancer patients, now more than ever, require our people to unite and stand together against this insidious disease.

The aim should be to assimilate information in the far-reaching parts of the country to foster a collective effort in support of this monumental task undertaken by the society.

Let the hard work continue.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa


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