Can­cer is still ta­boo

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

“Can­cer is re­por­ted­ly a big pro­blem in Su­ri­na­me be­cau­se pe­o­p­le do not da­re to talk about it open­ly.The di­sea­se is still ta­boo among the Su­ri­na­me­se pe­o­p­le,” Sha­ri­ta Ganga­ram Pan­day, CEO at the Ra­dio The­ra­peu­tic Cen­ter Su­ri­na­me (RTCS), told Ti­mes of Su­ri­na­me on Sa­tur­day. “Pe­o­p­le get the ur­ge to link can­cer to de­ath and that is why they seek help when it is too la­te or why they co­me in for tre­at­ment at a la­ter sta­ge.” Can­cer is still one of the most com­mon cau­ses of de­ath in Su­ri­na­me and ac­cor­ding to a 2014 re­port from the Ge­ne­ral Sta­tis­tics Bu­reau (ABS), about 2,000 are li­ving with can­cer. The most com­mon ty­pes of can­cer in Su­ri­na­me are bre­ast, cer­vi­cal and pros­ta­te can­cer. “Pe­o­p­le are af­raid to talk open­ly about the­se ty­pes of can­cer due to a lack of in­for­ma­ti­on. In the past it was not pos­si­ble to tre­at can­cer pa­tients in Su­ri­na­me but now that has chan­ged. Last year the RTCS star­ted gi­ving in­for­ma­ti­on to stu­dents at ju­ni­or and se­ni­or high schools. “Youths must co­me to re­a­li­ze that can­cer can be cu­red in an ear­ly sta­ge and that it is not ta­boo to talk about it,” said Ganga­ram Pan­day. Ro­bert Me­hil­al, ra­di­a­ti­on on­co­lo­gist at the RTCS, ex­plai­ned that 80% of all ty­pes of can­cer in Su­ri­na­me can be tre­a­ted. “Ra­re ty­pes of can­cer can’t be tre­a­ted in Su­ri­na­me and so the pa­tient is sent abroad for fur­ther me­di­cal tre­at­ment,” said Me­hil­al who ad­ded that can­cer is still ta­boo be­cau­se pe­o­p­le quick­ly think of de­ath when they hear the word can­cer and be­cau­se they are not awa­re that they can ha­ve tre­at­ment in Su­ri­na­me. “The­re is sur­gery, che­mo­the­ra­py and ra­di­a­ti­on,” said the ra­di­a­ti­on on­co­lo­gist. “The sooner you go to the doc­tor, the big­ger the chan­ges of get­ting cu­red,” said Me­hil­al.

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