Late diagnosis is the major challenge faced by medical authorities in Fiji for treating cancer cases.
Speaking at the Pinktober Morning Tea hosted by University of the South Pacific Lautoka Campus on October 21, Fiji Cancer Society board member from the west Margaret Rounds pointed out that the biggest challenge in Fiji is that too many women and men are having their cancer diagnosed too late for the treatment options available in Fiji to be effective.
Rounds stressed that though traditionally Pinktober is a time to focus on women’s cancers (breast and cervical) it also becomes a time to think about all cancers and how we can identify early warning signs and reduce our risks.
She emphasized that many cancers are treatable if found early. “We cannot emphasize it enough- most cancers are treatable if found early enough.
“Our goal is to change the mindset of our people to visit their general practitioners or hospital early and not wait.
“We need to commit to self-examination and to take advantage of the free screening opportunities. Be familiar with our bodies and know what is normal and what isn’t.
“Abnormalities and changes don’t always mean cancer- in fact sometimes it’s nothing to do with cancer- but get it checked, as it could be early signs of other non-communicable diseases.”
Mrs Rounds reiterated that a few minutes of embarrassing conversation with your doctor could mean the difference between spending a life time with your family or being a memory to them.
She added that the Fiji Cancer Society is a passionate and welcoming team dedicated to assist cancer patients and their families, supporting survivors and conducting education programs.
She highlighted that all their services is done through financial generosity of individuals and corporates like USP.
Another guest speaker at the event former Medical Superintendent of the Tamavua Hospital and current Lecturer in Public Health from University of Fiji Dr Sakiusa Mainawalala also emphasized that screening is very crucial in early detection and cure of cancer.
Dr Sakiusa stressed that if people are diagnosed late they have to bear certain consequences which are both psychological and social all throughout their lives.
He pointed out that a healthy diet consisting of wholesome vegetables and very minimal consumption of dairy products is a perfect solution of minimising the risk of contracting NCD’s such as cancer.
Meanwhile, USP Lautoka Campus Director Dr Pramila Devi said that her team was honoured to host the Pinktober Morning Tea fundraiser for the Fiji Cancer Society as an annual event.
Staff of Lautoka Campus with Guest Speaker for Pinktober
Pinktober Group Photo