Medical specialists to screen children with cancer

A group of medical specialists known as the Pacific Network Group is scheduled to arrive in Samoa on Sunday. 

The group is an arm of the National Cancer Network New Zealand and will be led by Dr. Jane Skeen, who will be accompanied by Dr. Peter Bradbeer, Madeleine Rose and Janet Masina. 

The medical specialists will follow-up children diagnosed with cancer and provide clinical and professional support for the team at Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital (T.T.M.H.). 

They will review children on chemotherapy, those who have completed their chemotherapy; consult on paediatric patients with a potential malignancy or haematological problem as identified by the paediatric or surgical staff at T.T.M. Hospital; consult on paediatric patients with a potential malignancy or haematological problem as identified by the paediatric or surgical staff at T.T.M.H.

Samoa Cancer Society (S.C.S.) Marketing Manager, Verona Parker said: “The team will be stationed at the paediatric ward within the Moto’otua Hospital from Monday, May 20-22.

“This is a partnership between S.C.S. and the Pacific Network Group, but this collaboration will enable children with cancer to commence treatment in New Zealand and allow for continuation of chemotherapy administration in Samoa.

“S.C.S. contributes through supporting the parents and the children in their homes and the opportunity is very significant to identify barriers to diagnosing, referring and treating children with cancer and to review the case notes of children with a potential cancer referred who never reached Starship Hospital.

“There will be 20 confirmed cancer patients who will be checked who are both from Upolu and Savaii."

She said part of the objective is to work with the group around the promotion of early warning signs, and care and support for children with cancer and their families in Samoa, and when they come to New Zealand.

“Some of the outcomes are improving the outcomes of children and adolescents with cancer in Samoa, by working in partnership with the Ministry of Health, clinical services (T.T.M. Hospital) for children and adolescents, and their families (Samoa Cancer Society).

“And continue to raise awareness that children with cancer in Samoa do not all have to die untreated, and early detection and referral important.”

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