Health Life News

Breast Cancer in PNG Women


By Sasha Pei-Silovo – EM TV, Port Moresby

Hospital Poroman Foundation, in partnership with Paradise Private Hospital and other stakeholders, hosted a breast cancer breakfast this morning (Tuesday) which featured presentations on the economic implications of breast cancer in Papua New Guinea.

The breakfast, held as part of the foundation’s ongoing awareness and fundraising campaigns, saw a great turn out from both women and men from all sectors, pledging their support for the fight against breast cancer. 

Every 23 seconds, someone in the world, is diagnosed with breast cancer. 

In PNG, the incidence of breast cancer in women has steadily risen over the years and the highest age-specific incidence occurs in the 21 to 35 years age group.

The trend has risen in all four regions, with two out of five women diagnosed with breast cancer daily.

Breast cancer is the third biggest killer of women in PNG, and for women, it is ranked as the most common type of cancer after cancers of the cervix.

Despite statistics being a cause for distress; there is a lack of understanding of breast cancer, the signs and symptoms, and treatment options are limited in PNG.  For a nation with a population of more than 7 million, there are only two mammograms in the country that allow for qualified specialists to examine breast tissue.

The lack of medical equipment available in the country is the driving force behind Hospital Poroman Foundation’s ongoing initiatives to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer. One such, held today. 

The breast cancer breakfast featured a presentation on the economic implications of breast cancer and the national health vision on cancer in PNG, by Dr Arnold Waine, senior lecturer in surgery at the UPNG School of Medicine and Health Sciences and honorary Senior Surgeon at the Port Moresby General Hospital.

Founder of Hospital Poroman Foundation, Janet Sios, called for stronger working partnerships to carry out breast cancer awareness, especially to those in rural areas. She said she was greatly appreciative of the work of doctors who, despite the lack of facilities and treatment available in the country, continue to hold the best interest of their patients at heart.

The foundation raised more than K47, 000 this morning, in support of its breast cancer campaign; the highest pledge of K25, 000 made by the National Gaming and Control Board through its acting CEO, Imelda Agon.

Also present was breast cancer survivor, Dorothy Wane, spoke of her experiences since being diagnosed with the disease in 2013.  A senior police constable with the national criminal records division, she attributed her Christian faith as being her source of strength and spoke of the importance of keeping to a healthy diet.

The foundation is now preparing for Doctors Climb for Breast Cancer next month.

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