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Late cancer screening a growing concern

September 18, 2019 7:10 am

A major challenge in addressing breast cancer in Fiji is late doctor consultation.

During the breast screening presentation conducted at CWM Hospital yesterday, it was revealed that a huge number of people are late in consulting their doctors.

General Surgical Fellow at the Mater Hospital in Brisbane, Breast surgery specialist Dr. Gausihi Sivarajah highlighted the importance of early screening.

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“Fiji may not be at that level where they are ready for generalized population screening but I think that is where Fiji should be heading towards. That is getting breast cancer awareness out there in the community, so patients present earlier and then down the track look things like screening, not just from clinical examination point of view but also screening mammograms as well.”

Professor of Surgery at the Fiji National University, Dr. Eddie McCaig, also pointed out the seriousness of being late in seeking medical advice.

“Just this week I was shown a photograph of a breast that was presented to our hospital with an ulcer so big you could put your fist into it. What are we doing wrong? We, the women of Fiji and a lot of our women are educated. The Women of Fiji know about breast examination why aren’t they doing it? And you know we got Dr. Delasau he showed me this picture, why is it that a woman comes to see us with an ulcer you could put your fist in.”

Professor McCaig also pointed out that Fiji has 200 cases of breast cancer a year and 70 percent of them are advanced and 20 percent of them have already metastasized or spread to other parts of the body.

The medical professionals present were also challenged to make breast cancer awareness of their responsibility.

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