Prevention message preached at Pinktober luncheon
Breast cancer is still the highest killer among women, says Samoa Cancer Society Vice President, Tauiliili Alise Stunnenberg.
Tauiliili was speaking during the Cancer Society’s Pinktober Luncheon at the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel yesterday.
The luncheon is part of many events and community outreach programmes dedicated to raising awareness on breast cancer; pushing the message of early detection; seeking early intervention; acknowledging those who fight breast cancer and honouring those who have passed on.
“To put this in perspective, the most recent statistics gathered by the Samoa Cancer Society is that in 2017, 89 new cancer cases were referred to the society and 35 percent of these were female and 33 percent being breast cancer,” she said.
“From the first half of 2018, January to June, we received 76 new cancer cases and 59 percent were women and 18 of them breast cancer.
“In 2017, almost 500 women were seen at the hospital and the screening resulted in 18 women being identified as having highly suspicious findings that will undergo further investigations,” Tauiliili said.
She said so far, the National Health Services has recorded about 100 women who have undergone mammogram checks and ultrasounds, of which there are some highly suspicious cases that will undergo further investigations.
Tauiliili also said women are heeding the call through social media, newspaper articles and radio announcements.
“We acknowledge at this stage that we offer free mammograms and ultrasounds during Pinktober. Pinktober is about communities leading the roles in advocating breast cancer.
“It is important that the more we talk about breast cancer or cancer in general, the more people will pay attention.
“It takes people who have experienced the battle of cancer to understand and relate to the reality of the impacts of cancer,” Tauiliili said.
Speaking from her experience, Cancer Survivor Afatia Pala’amo has urged people not to be complacent and reach out to the Cancer Society if they suspect they have cancer symptoms.