Specialist: Herbal medicine doesn’t work, seek medical treatment for breast cancer

Dr Josese Turagava.

“HERBAL medicine doesn’t work and cancer needs to be treated.”

This was the plea made by the Head of Surgery at Colonial War Memorial Hospital Dr Josese Turagava who is a specialist in general and paediatrics.

Speaking during the launch of the Pinktober campaign yesterday, Dr Turagava revealed that he faced difficulties counselling women who refused to take medical treatment.

Dr Turagava highlighted that breast cancer affected around 65 per cent of the iTaukei group, 35 per cent were Fijians of Indian decent and the remaining 5 per cent were Fijians of other ethnicity.

He said the Fijians of Indian decent and the other ethnicity were very proactive in seeking medical treatment.

He said they would come in and demand for surgery within the first two weeks of discovery.

Dr Turagava said the iTaukei group seemed to be a big worry because they often sought alternative treatments such as herbal medicines.

He during this time, the cancer in these patients had spread or worsened.

Dr Turagava said over the past two years, they had been more successful in partnering with the Fiji Cancer Society in getting the survivors to tell their story as most of them had also gone through herbal medicine which did not work.

“They have delayed the quality time that could have been used to save them and that has been wasted with people who say herbal medicine work when it doesn’t,” said Dr Turagava.

He stated that in 2013, 143 patients were diagnosed with breast cancer out of which 83 got treated with CWM, 41 had died and nine still refuse treatment.

Dr Turagava has been in this field of work for 18 years as his adult work is on breast cancer and the other bit of his work is paediatric surgery on children.

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