Awareness crucial in PNG fight against cervical cancer

5:58 pm on 21 January 2016

The Papua New Guinea Cancer Relief Society is urging greater nation-wide efforts to create awareness about cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is a leading cause of death for PNG women and the Society has pinpointed a tendency of rural communities to blame symptoms of cervical cancer on sorcery.

Women in Lae, Papua New Guinea

Women in Lae, Papua New Guinea Photo: Supplied

The organisation's cancer awareness co-ordinator Grace Ruddaka recently led a team through 13 rural villages in the Huon Gulf district to raise awareness of the disease.

She says with more awareness, these communities have begun to change behaviour.

"What happens is we had the village elders come and say now we understand the signs of cancer so that it would encourage younger women to go to the nearest health facility to get a check up especially ladies who are showing signs of cancer. Yes, the message is getting there."

However Ms Ruddaka says much more awareness is needed.