By Fidelis Sukina – EMTV News, Port Moresby
The Papua New Guinea Cancer foundation, helps in bringing across awareness to the public on the reality of cancer in the country, it is quite alarming and often people do not really know they have it until it reaches ‘stage four’ – the final stage, where even radiotherapy cannot save a patient. It is heartbreaking to know the country lacks facilities and adequate drugs to help cancer patients, who often they die a painful death.
Prevention, screening and early detection, these are the measures to counter the spread of breast and cervical cancer among women, and cancer in general.
But it’s easier said than done. Cancer has become a lifestyle disease associated with unhealthy food choices, and addiction to alcohol and cigarettes, the sad reality also, is the access to screening facilities to detect early symptoms.
And for further treatment, the misery continues, in Papua New Guinea, with the only cancer ward in the country, in Lae’s Angau Hospital, is not operational.
The PNG Cancer Foundation established in 2014, is aimed at providing awareness and education, to help the public understand the steps of prevention, screening, and early detection.
The statistics are alarming, cervical cancer is the biggest killer with an estimated 700 woman dying each year, that is two woman dying each day of the year, nine percent of bed admissions in hospitals are occupied by women with cancer, and one in six deaths in hospitals are cancer-related.
Dr. Lynda Sirigoi the Chairperson for the Cancer Foundation says it is very expensive to treat cancer. Often the most obvious solution being to travel overseas for treatment. The foundation does its best by what little they have and spread awareness throughout places where they can, teaching the community – hoping they pass on the message of prevention, screenin, and early detection.
The Pink Ribbon Lunch hosted today(October 24), saw the foundation raise almost K70,000, with 20 companies joining in the Pink Ribbon Campaign to support the prevention of cancer among women.