200 to 300 new cancer cases per year: NRH

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National Referral Hospital. Photo supplied
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BY MAVIS NISHIMURA PODOKOLO

SOLOMON Islands records between 200 and 300 new cancer cases a year, it is reported.

Dr Soma, the country’s very own Oncologist serving at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) revealed this alarming statistics yesterday in Honiara during the commemoration of the World Cancer Day   

“We have between 200 to 300-plus new cases of cancer every year. These data exposed that cancer cases is always been increasing.

“Our number-one cancer in the country is cervix cancer – the cancer that presents in the lower part of women’s placenta, and number-two is breast cancer. These are the two cancers that were recorded the highest,” he said.

Soma said these two types of cancer (cervical and breast) occur every year ahead of other types.

He said the other types of cancer on record are thyroid (occurs in the cells of the thyroid –a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck), lymphomas (blood cancer) and mouth cancer and all the rest follow suit.

Soma said with this alarming rate of cancer happening in the country, departments at the National Referral Hospital are working very closely to try and save lives of people who are presented with cancer.

“We have been working closely with other departments at the National Referral Hospital, the surgical ward, Medical Ward and other wards to help tackle this problem.

“With the collaborative working partnership we have we managed to cure some as they are still on the early stage but for some cases they were already on the complicated stage so we only provide palliative care meaning providing patients we comfortable life like being free form pain for the rest of the time they live with the diseases,” he said.

Soma adds that despite health care departments working together to combat cancer, they are being faced with many challenges – and one of the main common challenge is patients default treatment, meaning patients do not turn up at the right time to get their treatment.

 “With this, we urged patients present with cancer to come on time so we can help you complete your treatment,” he said.

Dr Geoffrey Kenilorea, Director Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), said NCDs risk factors and cancer risk factors are similar.

Kenilorea said according to data obtained from NRH, cancer is a third most common cause of death at the NRH followed by cardiovascular diseases.

“Cancer is one very common concern for our country and the ministry of health will continue the work through NCD department to support health workers fighting it,” he said.                  

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