THE Western branch of the Fiji Cancer Society has implemented a buddy system for those wary of approaching doctors to get tested or screen themselves for cancer.
Society member Milika Wata-Marshall said the reluctance to get tested and treated means the potential for many to be undiagnosed.
"We have a buddy system now — if a person is too frightened to go alone for a check, we will go with that person," she said.
"If you are stuck for transport and live too far away and need information on your diagnosis or treatment and you are hindered by language and persona, then we are here for you.
"There are many happy endings for those diagnosed early and for those that have gone on, family members, friends and spouses.
"We can only hope that we will fight harder to save a life."
In addition, Ms Wata-Marshall said they also had volunteers who visited patients at home.
"It is sad to see a patient living with cancer and this only encourages our branch and volunteers and members to get rid of this disease early and the only way we can do this is getting screened early.
"We have now moved into a partnership with the Health Ministry in taking palliative care to the homes.
"Zone nurses are visiting palliative care patients thereby reducing the time and pain on patients who have to travel to hospital.
"We have been supported by AusAID through the provision of a caravan and we have yellow donation cans that are placed in cafes, hotel counters, pharmacies and chemists in both Lautoka and Nadi.
"The funds we have raised have enabled us to buy equipment for the hospital in the help towards cervical cancer, equipping our caravan with an airconditioner, tables and office equipment, pay volunteers in our screening programs and in supplying bus fares each month to children and adults undergoing chemotherapy that are otherwise limited in finances.
"Recently we have started assistance to patients and families of patients by way of groceries and prescription as well as visitations to homes."