CANCER is among the top five leading cause of death in Papua New Guinea in the last decade, Pacific International Hospital (PIH) deputy chairman Dr Mathias Sapurian says. “About 1,300 men die from cancer yearly,” he added.
Dr Sapuri was speaking at the first PNG Cancer Foundation (PNGCF)-Men’s Cancer and Health Workshop to educate men about the different types of cancer and its symptoms, preventative strategies and the causes and diagnoses in Port Moresby on Friday. “Cancer has been ranked fourth as the leading cause of death in the country,” he told representatives from different organisations attending the “Trupela Man” cancer awareness programme.
Dr Sapuri said insufficient awareness in the community, poor prevention strategies and weak health screening modulation, health intervention and surgery and chemotherapy specialities were among the contributing factors for the rising rate of cancer. He said men were unfortunate to know their status because fewer men attended routine cancer screening test. “Patients come in too late for treatment when the cancer is already in stage three and four,” he said. “It is safe to treat cancer in the early stages, stage one and two.“Do self-examination and visit your doctor to ensure you are cancer free.” Dr Sapuri said chewing betel nut, smoking, excess consumption of alcohol and dealing with heavy metal such as mercury in mine sites were the main causes of cancer. “Quit smoking and make it your priority to kick the habit,” he said. “The mouth, lung, prostate and colorectal cancers are currently increasing over the years. “The disease was not common in the country in the last five decades but is a main cause of death today.” He added that some 9.7 million people die from cancer every year in the world, with men accounting for 4.4 million deaths.
The National / PNG Health Watch
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