Fiji Time: 2:56 PM on Wednesday 17 January

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Lifestyle changes

Aqela Susu
Friday, October 13, 2017

THE lifestyle of Fijians is changing according to development, says national adviser for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) Doctor Isimeli Tukana.

He says this is a major contributor to people suffering from deadly diseases such as cancer.

Dr Tukana said to prevent this from happening, Fijians needed to present themselves for screening early to allow for detection of cancers and treatment.

The Fiji Cancer Society says cancer accounts for 10 per cent of all deaths in Fiji, with 1280 new cases recorded annually, and the number continuing to increase.

Dr Tukana said as part of these developments, foods changed because of technology and people tended to be sitting more.

"With this basket of diseases you should get checked while you're still normal because it doesn't present as a fever or a cough. By the time it presents as a cough or a headache, you are almost too late," he said.

"You are almost having the disease.

"It is different from all other diseases where you get a fever or a toothache then you go to the hospital.

"This one here, while you're still normal, you should get checked. You come to us when you're well, don't wait until you are sick."

Dr Tukana said the nature of such diseases was that it would come in slowly, but by the time it showed itself it would be late.

He said this was why early screening and early detection was important.

"Before, we didn't have much of these processed foods, but because we're developing as a nation we're becoming affluent and the diseases of affluence have come," Dr Tukana said.

"We really need to move as a country not only in trying to focus on economic development, but have the health impacts and it's been proven all over the world.

"Now that we're becoming developed, how do we look after ourselves to make sure that we remain healthy and wealthy?"

The FCS revealed earlier that cervical cancer and breast cancer in women were by far the most common, comprising 34 per cent of all cancers across both genders.

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