By Helen Sea – EMTV News – Port Moresby
According to obstetrics and gynecology specialist, Dr Mathias Sapuri, it is important for women and young girls to have regular checkups and be informed and aware of what’s going on with their bodies, for their health and wellbeing.
Sapuri , speaking to EMTV News ahead of the upcoming Globe-a-thon this weekend, which is an awareness campaign for all cancers affecting women.
As well as being the Head of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Pacific International Hospital, he is also the coordinator of the annual Globe-a-thon to end women’s cancer.
“About two and half thousand women are at risk of being diagnosed with cancer each year, and almost 85 percent will die if they don’t detect the cancer at an early stage.”
Sapuri says there are four main cancers affecting women in PNG that the medical faculty is concerned about, cervical cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer.
Cancer has fast become the leading cause of death for women in PNG.
He’s added that most women turn up for check-up when the cancer is almost fully developed which makes treatment difficult.
“When you have abnormal bleeding, go for a check-up, this must be done regularly, it must become a routine to have yearly check-ups,” said Sapuri.
It’s now been established that cancer is a life style disease.
According to Dr Sapuri, 20 to 30 years ago it was unknown; today it’s the leading cause of women admissions in PNG.
When narrowed down to the types of cancers, breast cancer leads; followed by cervical cancer.
“We are able to attend to cases for surgery, but radiotherapy is where we are unable”
Limited treatment outlets are not helping to ease the onslaught. Therefore, early detection is the best solution to prevent the spread of cancer.
“Over the years, talks about cancer have been disseminated to the older population but this year we’re taking a different approach to target young people, especially in primary school, high school and even University students, so that they can learn the signs and symptoms of cancer and be more aware about it”
To create more awareness PIH is extending invites to the general public and corporate houses to participate in this globe-a-thon event, which is a walkathon that is in its 7th year since being introduced to PNG.
Assembling Point for the walk will be down at Era Kone Carpark, opposite IEA Tafe School and the actual walk commences at 7am; following the route through downtown, Pagahill Ring road and back to Era Kone.