By JINA AMBA
A CANCER patient is urging women in Papua New Guinea to go for early cancer screening and detection.
Maggie Oala, from Central, shared her experience on Friday during the 2020 Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Month and celebration in Port Moresby.
Oala was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018 in Lae where she underwent mastectomy. A mastectomy is surgery to remove all breast tissue from a breast as a way to treat or prevent breast cancer.
“And I went into revision for about a year, it has come back now. It has come back quite aggressively. I cannot walk unaided,” Oala said.
The theme of the celebration was: “The best protection is earlier detection”.
Oala said the theme was true for her because that is what she didn’t do which resulted in her mastectomy.
“Cancer is quite interesting and you cannot seem to understand, it has the mind of itself and so as other sicknesses,” she said.
“But then it depends on how we look after ourselves.
“My husband made a very interesting statement saying that he wondered why it had come back.
“I probably was too complacent and thought it was okay.
“I probably didn’t watch my diet, but then, I can’t blame anybody.
“I just have to go with it.
“It has come back. I just have to deal with it the best way possible that I can.
“The hospital staff are doing all they can with the limited resources that they have and that’s all that they can do right now,” Oala said.
She urged everyone to be mindful of those who take care of cancer patients and themselves.
“Breast cancer is not like some other sicknesses because I have to rely on pain killers every day to manage my pain. Without the pain killers the doctors prescribed, I can’t do anything,” Oala said.
“I am helpless.
“That’s what happens when you have cancer.”
Now that NCD governor Powes Parkop had announced that there would be free pap smear test in the city, she urged all women to go for test and also breast cancer test too.
“You as a woman, if your body doesn’t feel right, you yourself know. Don’t brush it aside and say later,” Oala said.
“I have cancer but that won’t stop me from living a normal life.”
By JINA AMBA