Early breast cancer diagnosis

Breast cancer survivors Mereoni Taginadavui and Salote Qalo with Dr Swaran Naidu, the medical director for Viseisei Sai Health Centre during the launch of Pinktober earlier this month. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

ONE of the best ways to detect breast cancer early is to get a mammogram test, says Dr Swaran Naidu, the medical director for Viseisei Sai Health Centre.

Dr Naidu said this was specifically for women over the age of 50.

“In other countries, they have it readily available, we unfortunately do not have that readily available and it’s mostly done for women who have some reservations,” Dr Naidu said.

She said the idea behind this was to detect the cancer before a lump was felt.

“Otherwise it’s done every two years. The idea of the mammogram is that you pick it up before you feel a lump,” she said.

Dr Naidu said once detected early, the treatment would be simple.

“This would mean surgery. Sometimes it would require radio therapy, but the chance of survival is well over 90 per cent so that’s what we are aiming for,” she said.

She said it was important for women who have been diagnosed to follow through with the treatment in order to have a greater chance of survival.

“Almost every one of us will tell you how heartbreaking it is that after the diagnosis and after we say to women this maybe treatable, you know you’ll have a high chance of survival, they go back home and many don’t want to come in,” she said.

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