The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Tonga Campus organised a Pinktober event recently in partnership with the Tonga Breast Cancer Society to create awareness on breast cancer.
“Amanaki Lelei Kaufaki’I Mo’ui- Give Hope and Save Lives” was the theme for this year’s event.
Campus Director, Dr Robin Havea while acknowledging the guest speakers and attendees stated that Pinktober was a worldwide event which the Tonga Campus wished to commemorate to create awareness.
“Breast cancer does not discriminate. We must recognise that it affects women from all areas of life so having the opportunity to hear first-hand information from a medical doctor and a breast cancer survivor was very educational, eye-opening, let alone emotional,” he said.
Guest speaker, Dr ‘Ana ‘Akau’ola of Viola Hospital said, “Breast cancer is treatable with contemporary equipment and it can be identified early and treated here in Tonga”.
“There are many cases that are found early and treated and then they live for 10 to 20 years without any medical problems.”
Dr ‘Ana stressed the need for early detection, encouraging women to perform manual checks at home particularly when bathing and consulting a medical practitioner for any abnormalities as soon as possible.
Mrs Takapautolo, a breast cancer survivor, spoke about her journey and the actions she took.
She received her treatment in America and chose radiation over chemotherapy adding it was important for patients to remain calm throughout the process.
“I am fine now and can do everything I used to do before, except for sports. I do cleaning, laundry, and nearly all other domestic chores. I am now healthy and content,” added Mrs Takapautolo.