26 Feb 2018

Yearly cancer screening encouraged in Fiji

2:42 pm on 26 February 2018

Fiji's Ministry of Health says people need to overcome their fear of cancer and realise it can be treated if they go to their doctor early enough.

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Photo: 123rf.com

Fiji sees 1100 new cases of cancer and 700 deaths from the disease every year.

The National Advisor for Non Communicable Diseases Dr Isimeli Tukana said cancer was a growing problem in Fiji and was a major cause of death behind heart attacks, strokes and diabetes.

Dr Tukana said symptoms such as weight loss, unusal bleeding, lumps and bumps are key signs people ought to see a doctor but it is better to have a yearly medical check up.

"The story at the moment is late presentation and lesser chance of survival. We are trying to change the mentality of the people of Fiji so we can work together in all sectors to present early, have an annual check, present so that we can diagnose early, we can manage early and have a better chance of survival."

Dr Tukana said lifestyle changes could prevent cancer and high risk behaviours include smoking, poor nutrition, drinking alcohol and lack of exercise.

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