CERVICAL cancer is the most common type of cancer in Fiji with more than 100 new cases detected every year.
Speaking at the Punjas Labasa Cancer Morning Tea, sub-divisional medical officer northern Doctor Setareki Sowani said cancer did not respect age or race.
"Majority of these women will die within 12 months because of late detection," said Dr Sowani.
He said this was because most Fijian women between the ages of 21 to 51 don't have regular pap smear to detect changes in their cervix.
Fiji has a high incidence of cervical and breast cancer in women however, this does not render men free from the disease."
"Incidence of cancers are very high in women compared to men due to the high incidence of cervical and breast cancer in women," he said.
Dr Sowani said the incidence of cancer in the i-Taukei was much higher than Fijians of Indian descent.
"The common causes of cancer are occupational exposures,lifestyle factors, biological agents, harmful use of alcohol, and cancers due to smoking," he said.
Dr Sowani told the people attended the morning tea that cancers could be prevented and treated if diagnosed early.
He also advised the public to visit their nearest health facilities for advice and for screening even if they felt they are not at risk of contracting the disease.
People from all walks of life within Labasa Town were invited to the charitable event at the Civic Centre building which was organised by the Northern Mothers for Charity headed by the Commissioner Northern's wife, Arieta Moceica.
The morning tea drive managed to collect $7711.15 with contributions from various stakeholders.