Can­cer health hui gives lowdown on high risk

Marlborough Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - PAULA HULBURT

Giv­ing peo­ple the knowl­edge to spot early signs of can­cer is key to pre­vent­ing se­ri­ous ill­ness and death, say health hui or­gan­is­ers.

The Wairau ‘Can­cer Ko¯rero’ hui is be­ing held on Oc­to­ber 12 to help peo­ple get a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of can­cer and its symp­toms.

Nel­son Marl­bor­ough Health’s Ma¯ori Health and Vul­ner­a­ble Pop­u­la­tion gen­eral man­ager Ditre Ta­matea says re­duc­ing can­cer ill­ness and death among Ma¯ori is vi­tal. He says re­duc­ing its im­pact is a ‘‘top pri­or­ity’’.

‘‘Can­cer causes the most ill­ness and death among Ma¯ori and it is crit­i­cal for us to work across many fronts to ad­dress this is­sue and re­duce in­equity,’’ he says.

The hui is aimed at the Ma¯ori pop­u­la­tion in par­tic­u­lar. Can­cer reg­is­tra­tion data from 2013 showed the rate of can­cer in Ma¯ori was 27.6 per cent higher than in non-Ma¯ori.

Nel­son Marl­bor­ough Health Ma¯ori health team spokes­woman Lor­raine Staunton says early de­tec­tion can make a big dif­fer­ence.

‘‘These hui are a great op­por­tu­nity to be em­pow­ered with knowl­edge and un­der­stand­ing around can­cer and this will con­trib­ute to bet­ter health out­comes for our wha¯nau.’’

‘‘We also want to stress the ex­treme im­por­tance of early de­tec­tion, and to let wha¯nau know about the can­cer path­ways and pro­cesses avail­able,’’ she says.

Lor­raine says previous hui have given peo­ple the courage to take a se­ri­ous look at per­sonal health is­sues, and recog­nise how life­style choices con­trib­ute to higher risk fac­tors.

‘‘These hui are a great op­por­tu­nity to be em­pow­ered with knowl­edge and un­der­stand­ing around can­cer and this will con- trib­ute to bet­ter health out­comes for our wha¯nau.’’

Nel­son Marl­bor­ough Health, the Can­cer So­ci­ety, Te Piki Oranga and Nga¯ti Rarua are host­ing the hui which will be held at 6pm at the Church of Na­tiv­ity on Al­fred St in Blen­heim. A light sup­per will be pro­vided. To reg­is­ter please con­tact Niki Waitai at Te Piki Oranga on 03 578 5980 or 027 836 6020, Te Hauora Nga¯ti Rarua on 03 579 4379 or Can­cer So­ci­ety Marl­bor­ough on 03 579 4379.

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