There were 18 highly suspicious cases of breast cancer found as a result of the National Health Services Breast Cancer Awareness Week campaign.
According to data collected and provided to the Samoa Observer, 495 women were screened throughout 23-31 October 2017.
Of those 495 women, 261 patients had breast ultrasound while 232 women had mammograms.
The end result uncovered 18 highly suspicious cases.
The N.H.S. acknowledged combined efforts of the General Manager, the Radiologists and Doctors, the Mammography Unit, the Ultrasound Unit, Medical Imaging staff and all who worked hard to make this campaign a success.
Patron of the Samoa Cancer Society and, the Minister of Health Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama during the Pinktober awareness emphasized how crucial it is to continue to promote and reinforce to our women, the crucial importance of early detection, recognizing the signs and symptoms for breast cancer, seeking medical advice and learning to do breast self-examinations and doing this on a regular basis.
During the Official opening of the Breast Cancer Week, he urged the women to get screening tests regularly whenever and wherever possible to ensure early diagnosis of breast, cervical, colorectal and prostate cancers and other forms of cancer.
As reported earlier, Tuitama said as a Medical Practitioner: “I encourage self- examination for breast cancer and that every woman needs to learn about the signs and symptoms in order to keep alert to any possible breast cancer."
“Mothers I urge you to encourage your daughters from within the home environment on the importance of screening and self-examination for breast cancer."
“Cancer as you may all be aware is the uncontrolled growth and spread of cells."
“It can affect almost any part of the body."
“The growths often invade surrounding tissue and can metastasize to distant sites."
“This is one of the main reasons why early diagnosis and treatment is so essential to improving chances of survival."
“After cardiovascular disease, cancer is the second highest killer of our people, with breast cancer being the most aggressive for Samoan women."
“It is the Cancer Society’s objective to help in the efforts to decrease the prevalence and incidence of breast cancer in Samoa."
“The Society assists by contributing to and, supporting the health priorities as reflected in Samoa’s Health Sector Plan, coordinated by the Ministry of Health and, the Governments’ Strategy for the Development of Samoa."
“I wish to emphasis that breast cancer is becoming more and more common in Samoa and every girl and woman is encouraged to keep vigilant."
“Early detection can mean surviving breast cancer."
“A significant proportion of cancers including breast can be cured, by surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy if they are detected early,” said Tuitama.
He is keen on the Health sector’s ‘Vave’ campaign, to promote EARLY DECTECTION and the three key Vave messages; VAVE ILOA, VAVE VAAI SE FOMAI and VAVE VILI MAI.
“As is with many cancers; risk of breast cancer may be minimized by avoiding exposure to common risk factors, such as tobacco smoke and keeping a healthy lifestyle.
“This includes, not smoking, healthy diets, minimal or no alcohol, and keeping an active lifestyle."
“The choices you make about diet, exercise, and other habits can affect your overall health, your state of well-being, as well as your risk for developing cancer and other serious life threatening diseases."
“I wish to stress however that although risk reduction is vital, these strategies alone cannot eliminate deaths due to breast cancers."
“Early detection in order to improve breast cancer outcome and survival remains a cornerstone of breast cancer control."
“We all want a cancer free Samoa.”