700 Cancer deaths in Fiji annually

National Advisor for Non-Communicable Disease Dr Isimeli Tukana during the 2018 World Cancer Day.Photo; DEPTFO.

 This was the comment of National Advisor for Non-Communicable Disease Dr Isimeli Tukana while relaying the message of the Assistant Minister for Health and Medical Services Alex O’Connor at the launch of the 2018 World Cancer Day at Albert Park today.

 The theme for World Cancer Day 2018 is ‘You can and I can prevent cancer’.

 Dr Tukana said cancer is preventable and cancer is curable, when detected early.

 He adds that the Ministry records a total of 1,100 new cases of cancer every year and at average about 700 people die annually due to cancer.

 Dr Tukana said this is happening because these cancers are not detected early as there are late presentations.

 He believes that if people make a habit of getting screened, these diseases will be detected early and the chances of treatment will be very high and people will be able to live quality of life.

 From the new cases, Dr Tukana said that slightly more than 50 per cent are found to be breast and cervical cancer in women.

 He said the most common cancer in males is prostate cancer and it is the third commonest cancer in Fiji. 

 Meanwhile, Dr Tukana said that children in Fiji make up less than one per cent of the new cases and about half of them survive treatment.

 “This special day helps us to reflect on what we can do as a survivor, as a co-worker, as a friend, as an employer, as a care giver, as a student, as a faith based group, as a cancer organization, as a family, as a community and as a nation to make a pledge and not only to pledge but to actually do something to fight against cancer,” he said.

 Dr Tukana said other cancers are growing up now, like the mouth, skin and cancer of the bowls.  He has called on the people to give hope and support to people living with cancer to make a big difference in our lives.