By Martha Louis – EMTV News, Lae
A senior cancer specialist and surgeon for 19 years says most patients go to the hospital when they are already at the advanced stage. Dr. Joseph Garap says this is due to many factors including cultural beliefs that cause patients to delay going for check-ups.
He says, early detection is needed to drive the message to the people. Most patients who go to the hospital are registered as new cases but are already suffering from advanced cancer.
Dr. Garap, says most patients suspect witchcraft at play and delay going to the hospital when the disease is still at its early stage.
Garap says the country’s geographical setting, also presents a challenge when awareness teams want to reach rural communities and educate the people on cancer. He says it is a challenge for cancer specialist to help patients who are already at the late stage.
There needs to be a strong political will to provide the best cancer service to the people especially to women and young girls.