HIBISCUS queen and Miss Fiji Priscilla Reddy believes breast cancer is an issue not to be taken lightly.
She is no stranger to the disease, saying her mum has breast cancer, and underwent a mastectomy shortly after the Hibiscus Festival.
"I think awareness is there, but the stigma is there as well," she said.
"I remember my mum. She used to say things like 'deformity' after her breast got removed, she kept saying 'I wish I had never found out', but I would be thinking that as this is a life-threatening disease, I'd rather have her alive."
Ms Reddy said it was a growing cause for concern in Fiji.
"Once, at the clinic, there was a child, a 12-year-old, and she was told that she had breast cancer.
"Maybe, they were still in the testing stages, but they were walking out, and she was just in tears.
"That was an eye-opener for me. This disease doesn't discriminate."
She said while she was a "big fan" of traditional medicine, there were times when medication was a better option. Ms Reddy said proper habits such as eating organic food and doing more exercise would help in the long run.