Fiji may not be at that level where there will be a generalized population screening for breast cancer but it should be heading towards creating breast cancer awareness in the communities so that patients can present themselves earlier and be treated immediately and cured.
This has been highlighted by Australian Breast Surgeon Trainee, Dr Goushi Sivarajah while conducting a presentation on breast cancer and early detection at the CWM Hospital.
More than 200 breast cancer cases are detected every year where 70% of the patients present themselves with the cancer at an advanced stage.
She says it is an important issue to discuss that breast cancer can be detected at any early stage, treated and cured and the five year survival rate when patients are treated early is up to 98 to 100%.
Symptoms of breast cancer are pain in the breast, skin changes over the breast, changes to the nipples such as discharge or retraction and lumps in the breast. As for lumps they can either be benign or malignant and just by self examination alone there is a possibility that 8 out of 10 lumps could be benign.