Society confirms death toll as it prepares for World Cancer Day

Samoa recorded 76 cancer-related deaths last year, the Samoa Cancer Society confirmed.

The Society gave the statistics for 2019 when announcing a programme to mark World Cancer Day, which is globally celebrated on February 4 every year.

The S.C.S. Fundraising and Marketing Manager, Verona Parker, said the deaths of 76 cancer patients were recorded by the Society last year with breast cancer accounting for the highest number of registered patients.

Patients suffering from other forms of cancer were also recorded by the Society. 

“We have patients who have different types of cancer such as bowel, cervical and prostate,” she added.

Mrs. Parker said World Cancer Day in Samoa will be brought forward to this Sunday, February 2 and marked with a 4pm church service at the Methodist Church, Matafele. The service will be led by Reverend Dr. Eteuati Tuioti.

“The service will feature various cancer patients doing their testimonies into their journeys through having cancer,” she said. “We also invited Government representatives to attend the service. We want to highlight that the care and attention given to late stages cancer patients are just as important, their last days or moments on earth is significant.”

The Society is keen to do awareness on its programs and activities this year which will highlight the importance of palliative care, according to Ms Parker.

She appealed to members of the public including families, friends and cancer patients to attend this year’s prayer service coming Sunday.

Based on data provided by the SCS, as of December 31, 2019 a total of 44 cancer patients and families are using the services provided by the Society. There were also 102 new referrals received by the Society in 2019 and were either self-referred or referred by a medical professional.

Created 20 years ago, World Cancer Day is a global uniting initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control. It has grown into a positive movement for everyone to unite under one voice to face one of humanity’s greatest health challenges. 

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