Cancer

Live a healthy lifestyle

Lawes Road Clinic’s gynaecologist, Dr Lutty Amos, made this statement when speaking at the end of the weekly Walk and Yoga for Life program at Paga Hill Ring Road on October 20.

She revealed that during her team’s government department visits this year, five in every 100 women in the city have at least gotten screened, urging the need for more awareness and actions against cancer.

Dr Amos shared a sad reality of having screened only 3,700 women in NCD for cancer detection since the opening its cryotherapy unit to the public for Pap smear test in October, 2016.

BSP supports cancer awareness

Funds presented were raised from a staff initiated morning tea fundraiser that was held on Friday 12th October to mark Breast Cancer Awareness month and raise awareness on cancer. 

Priscillar Napoleon, Executive Manager – Papua New Guinea Cancer Foundation, thanked the staff for the initiative and the support of the Bank and its employees.

“As a charitable organisation, PNGCF’s work would not be possible without the backing of local companies and individuals,” said Napoleon.

Cancer patient’s plea to Government

But like the plight faced by many other average Papua New Guineans battling cancer, Sr. Maputiane needs urgent medical treatment overseas.

She is now questioning the government as to what extent they will allow cancer patients in the country to suffer before lifesaving medical intervention can be introduced into the health system. 

Sr. Maputiane was first diagnosed in August 2016 and underwent a major operation in June 2017 at the Port Moresby General Hospital.

Drug shortage more serious than imagined!

Bernadette Kapini is a recent breast cancer survivor feeling the burden of this.

She was forced to stop her chemotherapy only three months into it, after being told the medicine stock at the Port Moresby General Hospital ran out.

Kapini had undergone a mastectomy at the Pacific International Hospital in June 2017, where one of her breasts was surgically removed.

She began her chemotherapy treatment with the Port Moresby General Hospital’s Obstetrics and Gynaecology division in July.

Wayne Smith treated for cancer

Smith, who stood down from the national team following the Rugby Championship, told Fairfax that he found about his prostate cancer during the tournament, but he and his wife decided to keep it quiet.

60 year old Smith had an operation in December and says the news has been very positive since.

Smith has plans to do some coaching advisory work in both Japan and Italy.

 

     

First and foremost: Behavioural change

This is about healthy lifestyle choices and begins way before being diagnosed with cancer.

It is primary prevention.

Toka Jnr said the curative aspect of cancer (treating cancer) is expensive; not just in PNG but in the world.

“We only have one cancer unit in the country that does radiotherapy. There are other hospitals also that do chemo and surgical which we’re very fortunate. But once again, the options are very limited and this is where prevention is very important,” he said.

Cancer: There is still hope

But amidst the fear, Dr Suresh Venkita, medical director at the Pacific International Hospital reminds people that there is still hope.

He says cancer is one area greatly researched even today, and there are advancements on cure and prevention, targeted specifically for before the cancer forms.

This, he says, allows for early detection, prevention as much as possible, or for diagnosis, treatment and survival of the cancer.

“We are trying to take away fear of the cancer and bring back hope and confidence,” he said.

POM to join in on global movement

Gynaecologic cancer is an uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells that originate from the reproductive organs.

There are several types of gynaecologic cancers which include cervical, gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD), primary peritoneal, ovarian, uterine/endometrial, vaginal and vulvar cancers.

On behalf of the country, Pacific International Hospital is leading a walk on Sunday, September 24, to join the Globeathon to End Women’s Cancers.

'Pen' identifies cancer in 10 seconds

They say it could make surgery to remove a tumour quicker, safer and more precise.

And they hope it would avoid the "heartbreak" of leaving any of the cancer behind.

Tests, published in Science Translational Medicine, suggest the technology is accurate 96% of the time.

The MasSpec Pen takes advantage of the unique metabolism of cancer cells.

Their furious drive to grow and spread means their internal chemistry is very different to that of healthy tissue.

 

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First cancer 'living drug' gets go-ahead

The regulator - the US Food and Drug Administration - said its decision was a "historic" moment and medicine was now "entering a new frontier".

The company Novartis is charging $475,000 (£367,000) for the "living drug" therapy, which leaves 83% of people free of a type of blood cancer.

Doctors in the UK said the announcement was an exciting step forward.

The living drug is tailor-made to each patient, unlike conventional therapies such as surgery or chemotherapy.

It is called CAR-T and is made by extracting white blood cells from the patient's blood.