Pinktober campaign launched

The Pinktober campaign was officially launched at the ANZ Bank in Apia yesterday.

Themed “Together we can make a difference”, many supporters were present including– the Matavai Cultural crew from Australia headed by the former Miss Samoa and Miss South Pacific 1998 Maryjane McKibbin-Schwenke. 

Matavai will host a special performance at the end of the week with all the proceeds going to the Samoa Cancer Society. 

Yesterday also marked the launch of the ANZ Bank fashion ATM designed by Eveni to support Pinktober.

Samoa Cancer Society Vice President, Tauiliili Alise Stunnenberg, said breast cancer continues to be the highest form of cancer in the number of patience that the society sees each year. They continue to work hard to build more relationships, especially out in the communities and in the villages.

They also work hand in hand with churches, women’s committees, community based organisations and other non-government organisations.

“In 2017, 89 patients were referred to the Samoa Cancer Society, 19 percent of them were women with breast cancer and four had passed away and only four women known to us were successfully treated following early detection and presentation to hospital,” Tauiliili told the gathering.

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“It’s one thing to know and be aware yet another to be proactive and present yourself to the hospital should you detect early signs of breast cancer. 

“That is one of the important works of the society at this point, but it’s through community involvement, advocating and lobbying together with those patients who have gone through it and survive.

“They can share their experiences so that we can encourage other women to come forward early to have themselves checked because that’s when the treatment is most effective.”

Tauiliili added they have received considerable amount of support from people all over not just in Samoa, but in Samoan communities overseas.

“They want to help fight cancer and acknowledge those who have passed on so we must continue to nurture these relationships and integrate their commitment and involvement into the work that we do for the people who need our help because only together can we make a difference,” said Tauiliili.

Acting Prime Minister, who is also the Minister of Health and the patron for the Samoa Cancer Society, Tuitama Dr. Talalelei Tuitama said this month is a time to promote and reinforce to our women the importance of early detection, recognising the signs and symptoms, seeking medical advice and learning to do breast self-examination.

“Cancer is the second highest killer of all people. With breast cancer being the most aggressive for women of Samoa, it is our objective to help decrease the incidents of breast cancer in Samoa by contributing and supporting the Ministry of Health sector plan and strategy for the Government of Samoa,” Tuitama said.

This month’s activities include a luncheon at Sheraton and performance by the Matavai Dance Crew.

The Pinktober campaign is championed by the late Manamea Apelu-Schwalger and is dedicated to breast cancer awareness. 

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