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New cancer cases

Vishaal Kumar
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

ONE out of eight women is likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer.

This was revealed by pediatrics consultant and general surgeon at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital Dr Josese Turagava while speaking at the Fiji National University (FNU) Pinktober symposium held last week.

Mr Turagava said 150-200 new cases of breast cancer cases are registered in the country every year.

He also revealed that one to two men are also diagnosed with the disease annually.

"There are four stages of breast cancer. The first stage has a survival rate between 97-100 per cent when the lump is less than two centimetres in diameter," Mr Turagava said.

"The second stage is when the lump is more than two centimetres, but less than five centimetres in diameter. The survival rate is between 83-93 per cent in five years.

"The third stage is when the lump is more than five centimetres with a 72 per cent rate of survival within five years.

"The final stage has a 15 per cent survival rate in two years is when the cancer spreads to the bones, lungs, liver or metastasis inside the victim's body."

Mr Turagava said treatment was available for patients with breast cancer and for the various stages of infection, but it all depended on people to come forward for screening.

He also said Fiji did not have some modalities of treatment for breast cancers.

"We don't have radiotherapy, no herceptin and tests, aromatase inhibitors and paclitaxels in private pharmacies.

"We are also not able to track the triple negative cancers and do genetic studies here," he said.

Mr Turagava said there were also challenges faced when people came forward for early detection revealing they had breast cancer.

"The iTaukei prefer traditional medicine over hospital treatment," said Dr Turagava.

"Some refuse chemotherapy and surgery and come in very late when the lumps have grown more than five centimetres in diameter."

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