by Quinton Alomp – EM TV News, Port Moresby
The rate of deaths associated with cancer in Papua New Guinea is increasing, however exact figures cannot be established due to a lack of cancer registry in the country.
Despite having a lack of confimed numbers, PNG Cancer Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Dadi Toka Jr, says the number of deaths related to cancer is still high.
He says the rate may be worst in rural areas where access to health facilities is slim.
“Current estimates we have 1,500 women die each year on cancer,” he said.
The PNG Institute of Medical Research estimates that one in ten deaths in PNG are cancer related and an estimated two women died every day from cervical cancer.
A 2008 report from the World Health Organisation found PNG has the highest rate of mouth cancer in the world.
Excessive chewing of betelnut is said to be the main contributing factor for mouth cancer, with smoking and alcohol consumption also playing a part.
These figures are increasing, although the disease is preventable if diagnosed at an early stage.
The month of October is dedicated for women’s cancer awareness.
PNG Cancer Foundation says to educate and raise awareness about women’s cancer, the organisation will host a Pink Ribbon brunch next month – 28 October – to raise funds for the awareness.
A table of 10 will cost K3,500 at the Royal Papua Yacht club, with strong support from the Pacific MMI Insurance Limited.
Check out their Facebook page here PNG Cancer Foundation