Angau’s Cancer treatment facility isthe only one for all cancer patient referrals coming from all over Papua New Guinea
The treatment center treats an estimated 400 patients in a year. Radiation Oncologist Dr. John Niblett says this is onlythe tip ofthe iceberg. “There are at least 2,000 plus patients aroundthe country who still need treatment,” he said.
Some patients have been lucky, receiving treatment months from discoveringthe problem, while thers are still waiting for their treatment.
“The hospital is understaffed and has only one nurse at night or none at all,” said Patient Be nda Sainol.
The center is under-staffed and needs more nurses including radiationtherapist,there are only three operatingthe only high voltage cobalt machine inthe country, used to treat cervical cancer.
The country already has one ofthe highest rates of cervical cancer alone. Be ast cancer is onthe rise including cancers ofthe mouth and stomach that are caused by lime in betelnut chewing.
Recently, a new brachtherapy facility was installed to treat cervical cancer that claims lives of over 1,500 Papua New Guinea women per year according toWorld Health Organization statistics
Angau’s Physician and trainee oncologistoDr. Cathy Timothy says awareness isthe only option butthe difficulties of literacy rates including Papua New Guinearsquo;s geography is a challenge.
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