Society targets schools in cancer awareness

The Samusu Primary School hosted the Samoa Cancer Society last week as part of a monthly awareness programme by the society to bring attention to the dangers and symptoms of cancer.

Over 200 students as well as the principal, teachers and parents welcomed the S.C.S. to the school, according to a statement released by the society.

A brief presentation by the S.C.S. staff touched on the general signs and symptoms of childhood cancer and early warning signs to look out for, while emphasising the importance of quickly seeking medical help for persistent symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of childhood cancer were also discussed and focused on eye-white spots in the eye; new squint; blindness; bulging eyeballs; lumps in the abdomen and pelvis, head and neck, limbs, testes and glands.

The S.C.S. staff also talked on unexplained fever; loss of weight and appetite; pallor; fatigue; easy bruising or bleeding; aching bones, joints, back and easy fractures; and neurological signs which can bring change in behavior; balance; walk and milestones; headache; and enlarging head.

According to the S.C.S. media release, there has been an increase in the number of children diagnosed with cancer, especially leukemia.

“The society has witnessed a steady increase in the number of children diagnosed with cancer particularly leukemia being the highest type of cancer affecting Samoan children that are referred to the Society. 

"There are currently eight children diagnosed with different types of cancers registered with the society for palliative care services.

“To further capture and highlight the services of the society to better inform parents in caring for their children's welfare when it comes to cancer health, founder Caroline Ryan joined the S.C.S Team on this particular outreach.”

 According to Mrs. Ryan, Talofa Kids was launched in late February 2020 as a website dedicated to recommending child-friendly businesses and organisations that provide services for children such as creative arts schools or sporting groups.

Talofa Kids aims to talk about matters that are important to parents raising children in Samoa. As a non-profit organisation, it is committing funds and resources to raising awareness on children's health and children's safety, specifically prevention of sexual abuse in children.

It uses the power of social media to reach thousands of users every week.

Acknowledging the support by Talofa Kids, S.C.S Chief Executive Officer, Su'a John Ryan said Talofa Kids can only further the work of the society in creating tailor-made online awareness – not only in the Samoan community locally – but seek financial support and equipment which can cater to the palliative care needs of terminally-ill children affected by cancer.

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