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700 Cancer Deaths A Year, Says Dr Tukana

On an average there are approximate­ly 700 deaths due to cancer annually in Fiji. This was highlighted by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services national advisor for Non-Communicable Diseases
25 Feb 2018 18:11
700 Cancer Deaths A Year, Says Dr Tukana
Children and supporters during World Cancer Day at Albert Park pavilion on February 24, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar

On an average there are approximate­ly 700 deaths due to cancer annually in Fiji.

This was highlighted by the Ministry of Health and Medical Services national advisor for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), Dr Isimeli Tukana during the launching of the World Cancer Day 2018 at Albert Park in Suva yesterday.

The theme for the national event was “We can. I can prevent Cancer”.

Dr Tukana said the theme challenges us to work together as a nation to reduce the bur­den of cancer in Fiji and ultimately we can contribute to the reduction of the burden of cancer globally.

“This special day helps us to show on what we can do as a survivor, as a co-worker, as a friend, as an employer, as a care giver, as a student, as a faith-based group, as a cancer prevention organisation, as a family, as a community and as a nation to make a pledge to take action and not only pledge, but to ac­tually do something to fight against cancer,” Dr Tukana said.

He said in Fiji, every year, the Ministry of Health records over 1100 new cases of can­cer.

“Of these, slightly more than 50 per cent are found in women mainly breast and cer­vical cancers.

“This is not to say that men cannot have breast cancer; we do have a small number of men who have breast cancer.

“However, the most common cancer in men is prostate cancer and it is also the third commonest cancers in Fiji.

“We also have cancers in children. Al­though they make up less than 1 per cent of the new cancers we see every year, we see about half of them surviving with treat­ment and a small number being cured.

“That isn’t a deterrent in our fight against cancer because the fact is cancer is prevent­able.

“Cancer is treatable when detected early. The burden of cancer can be controlled when we work together,” Dr Tukana said.

Edited by Mohammed Zulfikar

Feedback: ashna.kumar@fijisun.com.fj

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