The Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama, has reassured about the government’s strong support for Pinktober.
And Tuitama, who is also the Patron of the Samoa Cancer Society, has re-emphasised the need for early diagnosis as the key to maximizing chances for surviving cancer.
Speaking at the launch of Pinktober, he noted that the World Health Organisation recognizes that at the global level a major problem is that many cancer cases are diagnosed too late.
“Even in countries with optimal health systems and services, many cancer cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage, when they are harder to treat successfully,” he continued. “It is therefore important for us all to remember that early diagnosis is the key to maximizing chances for surviving cancer.”
To that extend, the Health Minister is urging local residents to get screening tests regularly whenever and wherever possible to ensure early diagnosis of breast, cervical, colorectal and prostate cancers and other forms of cancer.
“As a Medical Practitioner I encourage self- examination for breast cancer and that every woman needs to learn about the signs and symptoms in order to keep alert to any possible breast cancer.
“Mothers I urge you to encourage your daughters from within the home environment on the importance of screening and self-examination for breast cancer.
“Cancer as you may all be aware is the uncontrolled growth and spread of cells. It can affect almost any part of the body. The growths often invade surrounding tissue and can metastasize to distant sites. This is one of the main reasons why early diagnosis and treatment is so essential to improving chances of survival.
“I wish to emphasise that breast cancer is becoming more and more common in Samoa and every girl and woman is encouraged to keep vigilant. Early detection can mean surviving breast cancer. A significant proportion of cancers including breast can be cured, by surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy if they are detected early.”