Two oncologists to be recruited for Lae Cancer Unit

The National Department of Health is recruiting two new specialist oncologists for the Lae Cancer Unit, says Minister responsible.

“One for radiation treatment and another to work with other treatment options for cancer, such as advanced chemotherapy, surgery, and a new radiotherapy treatment called Linear Accelerator that will modernise the radiation treatment for cancer. This will provide better quality of life for cancer patients,” Minister for Health and HIV/AIDS Michael Malabag said.  

“We have a new Brachytherapy service underway, and a volunteer specialist from Australia will be training our young specialists in new cancer treatments that will help particularly, women with cervical cancer.”

Malabag said K15 million is needed annually to implement the National Plan for Cancer.

“Cancer is on the increase in Papua New Guinea. This is being fuelled by risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diets, and chewing of betelnut,” Malabag said.

“The Government has a road map to address this escalation of cancer cases, and the Department of Health requires a large amount of resources to implement the road map.

“There are many types of cancers, and there are many treatment options. And people even with the same cancer, don’t always need the same treatment.

“Treatment of cancer is not solely by radiotherapy. There are many recent and more effective treatments now available and the department of health has started using these multiple options.

“Surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and anti-cancer drugs are treatments already available at Port Moresby General Hospital and Angau Memorial Hospital.

“The current cobalt radiotherapy treatment at Lae Cancer Treatment Centre is very old technology that modern cancer specialists would not recommend as the only treatment option.

“The Department of Health is expanding the treatment options to this centre so that patients have options for their treatment, not just one answer that doesn’t fit every patient’s needs,” the Health Minister said.


Charles Yapumi