The Ministry of Health and Medical Services is emphasizing on the need for greater awareness of breast cancer amongst young women.
Ministry of Health & Medical Services, acting permanent secretary, Dr Meciusela Tuicakau while launching the Breast Cancer Awareness Program at Colonial War Memorial Hospital today said breast cancer cases in Fiji has 60 percent mortality due to late detection and presentation to hospitals.
“Over 200 breast cancer cases are diagnosed by the CWM’s pathology lab out of which only 50 mastectomies were done. The rest of the diagnosed cases opted for traditional alternatives. Most cases present late to the hospital, but patients still opt for traditional medicines. They return to hospital for care when they develop spinal cord paralysis, necrotic breast tissues or other complications,” Dr Tuicakau said.
Consultant surgeon at the CWM hospital, Dr Josese Bulitavu said that the escalating breast cancer cases in Fiji is due to the fact that women ignore medical treatment.
“With little or no success people fall back to the medical facilities but they are late. By the time they present themselves to the health facilities, they are in the advanced stages of the disease which is difficult to contain,” Dr Bulitavu said.
Current statistics on breast cancer shows 20 breast cancer cases were under 30 years old while the youngest patient was 17 years old.