Breast cancer patients need support

DESPITE the free operations and chemotherapy sessions provided in Fiji for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, many do not receive support from their homes and are left helpless and abandoned.

Fiji Cancer Society (FCS) worker Talei Osbourne said this was a common situation observed by the organisation where women were being left to battle the life-threatening disease on their own.

“Sometimes, it is just their children by their side throughout their battle and these people who do not receive the support, do not come out and talk about it,” Ms Osbourne said.

“Support can mean so many things; such as being there for them during their diagnosis, after their operation, during their chemotherapy sessions, to bathe them, change their dressing and take them to the hospital during chemotherapy or clinic visits.”

Ms Osbourne said the most recent case FCS came across was last month and the woman lost her battle to breast cancer.

“She was at home when some of her family members told her to go to them so that they could look after her, her husband had walked out and she had two children.

“They then lost patience and started ignoring the lady so the woman had to move out again.

“A volunteer from FCS, who is also a community worker, was the one who visited her daily, took her to the hospital and encouraged her family to visit her as she took her last breath in hospital.”

CWM Hospital consultant surgeon Dr Josese Turagava said this could be because of the different socio-economic backgrounds that the women came from. “The ones who cannot afford it financially stay with us and we sort them out from here,” Dr Turagava said.

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