Editorial: Together Let’s Fight Cancer

Cancer cases has risen over the past three years and it shows that awareness in all present form is not hitting home.
26 Mar 2019 11:46
Editorial: Together Let’s Fight Cancer
Stop Cancer

Together let us fight cancer, was the rallying call from Minister for Education Rosy Akbar while addressing participants at the MIOT Continuing Medical Education Programme last Saturday.

The programme was part of the “Win Against Cancer” symposium held at the Tanoa International.
The awareness programme in fighting cancer is being lifted to another level now to create more awareness so that people may be saved through early detection.
Cancer is one of the four main non-communicable diseases in Fiji and around the world.

Ms Akbar’s comments came as statistics showed that cancer was the third-highest cause of death in Fiji.
The minister went a step further by saying she intended to include cancer in the Fijian school curriculum’s Family Life Education.

“Currently we are so prescriptive in our curriculum services in Fiji because we are preparing children for exams,” Ms Akbar said.
The ministry plans to incorporate cancer awareness in the Family Life curriculum currently being taught in the school system.

The symposium, organised by MIOT International in Chennai, India, with the Nadi Cancer Conclave were told children would understand the diseases, especially if their own parents were patients, thus assisting children become more proactive in identifying forms of cancers and urging medical treatment and family support.

The biggest problem in Fiji is that cancer patients are still seeking medical treatment at extremely late stages, when the disease is terminal.
This in turn causes a lot of agony and heart-wrenching moments as the disease eats slowly at the body and family members see the ebbing demise of their love ones.

Cancer affects people from all walks of life, regardless of age, religion, race or anything else because it knows nobody. Cancer cases has risen over the past three years and it shows that awareness in all present form is not hitting home. Statistics in Fiji show an increasing trend of breast, cervix and other reproductive tract cancers in women.

Men have also been diagnosed with breast cancer in Fiji while other forms include prostate, liver, rectum and lung cancer.
Cancer starts when cells in a part of the body start to grow out of control because cancer cell growth is different from normal cell growth.
Potential causes for cancer could be one of either genetic, tobacco, bad diet, sun and ultraviolet exposure, radiation or other environmental causes.

It may sound simple, but for those who indulge in fast food and unhealthy eating, avoiding the risk of cancer could stem from leading a healthy lifestyle.
Stay away from smoking, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and maintain proper weight, reduce alcohol intake and practise safe sex.

As mentioned, easier said on paper but actually getting out there and doing the right thing seems hard with a lot of Fijians.
If we take all the precautionary measures in avoiding the risk of cancer and add that to all our talanoa sessions, whether it be over coffee, at meetings or gatherings, during conversations, that would be one step in the right direction.

Our children will soon have this subject incorporated into their curriculum and that is a great start.
Come on Fiji, together let’s fight cancer.


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