19 cases a month

THE Ministry of Health confirmed 115 breast cancer cases from January to July, this year.

Minister for Health Rosy Akbar said that was about 19 confirmed cases per month.

Ms Akbar was the chief guest at the Women In Business Pinktober Fundraising Breakfast at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva on Friday.

That’s a slight improvement, however, she said there were many other unreported cases where women may have never had the chance to be tested and the opportunity to be saved.

In Fiji, she said, cancer was the third leading cause of deaths, which accounted for 10 per cent of all deaths and occurred almost three times more in females.

“These are alarming figures and while the numbers are grim, the good news is that early detection of breast cancer allows most survivors a good quality of life after treatment.

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women but millions of women are surviving the disease thanks in part to early detection and improvements in treatment. Early detection is the key.”

“Catching it early” or early detection and treatment, she said, was the sure way to beat breast cancer as this would also lead to lower rates of invasive breast cancer.

“Remember, it’s not localised cancer that kills, it’s metastatic cancer that overwhelms our defences.”

She urged women to take care of their health and those of their families, be aware of abnormal changes in their bodies, consult a doctor, and visit the nearest local hospital, health centre or nursing station.

“Don’t let this month go by without taking extra care of our health. Take time out to get a full medical health check.

“We can become agents of change ourselves and be the change that you want to see in the world.

“Do not take your health for granted!”

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