Image: Lorraine Posanei lost her brother to mouth cancer
A woman who lost her elder brother to cancer in 2011 says early detection and more awareness is desperately needed to reduce the high number of men and women who come to hospital at the final stages of the disease.
Lorraine Posanei, said more awareness should be carried out in rural Papua New Guinean areas through rural health clinics to assist patients to provide an avenue for detection.
Lorraine Posanei lost her brother, John to cancer in 2011 leaving behind his son who was just 2 years old at the time.
Her brother had developed mouth cancer in 2009 but was told that it was a minor sore in his mouth and would heal over time.
However, the sore didn’t heal.
Lorraine said most of the patients who were admitted at the Cancer unit at same time was her brother also had advanced cancer.
She believes most of the patients especially in the remote areas are not aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer and the importance of early detection.
Lorraine believes there needs to be mechanisms in place for early detection so that those diagnosed can be treated while they are at the curable stage.
Lorraine came out on the media following a public anger over the limited attention given to the PNG cancer facility in Lae.
Two days ago Health Minister, Michael Malabag, came out on the media saying the government has come up with a plan to address the cancer problem.
He said the National Health Department will need K15 million annually to provide decent treatment opportunities for cancer patients in the country.
He also added that there are other treatment available include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and anti-cancer drugs in the Port Moresby General Hospital, and ANGAU Memorial Hospital.
While Minister Malabag’s remarks seems promising, the PNG Cancer Unit at ANGAU still needs a radiation oncologist. A specialist doctor who can operate the cobalt radiation machine and prescribe treatment for patients before they can undergo radiotherapy.