October brings waves of pink to Lihir Island


SINCE 1991, or thereabouts, the pink ribbon has been worn throughout the month of October to attract attention to the fact that thousands of women throughout the world die from breast cancer each year. It is a message to those women that are alive to have regular checks for any unusual signs or changes, and to visit the doctor as quickly as possible for a diagnosis is something irregular is detected.
Last month wasw October an the Island of gold; Aniolam in New Ireland, turned pink when Newcrest-Lihir and its business partners conducted a Breast Cancer awareness program to educate the workforce and the local Lihirians on how to live a safe and healthy lifestyle.
The Lihir operation, through its female employees, led the breast cancer awareness program. The presentations supported Newcrest-Lihir’s commitment to empower employees and the local Lihir community to change behavior and attitudes in order to create healthy and happy homes that will promote safe and productive workplaces. It also reflected the company’s value – Caring for Others.
Enthusiastic female employees with the support of their male colleagues celebrated the Pink Ribbon Day on Saturday, Oct 21, with a powerwalk and roadside awareness on breast cancer. The women, all decked out in pretty pink, walked from Aginas Sports Field to the Londolovit waterfront where they took time to interact with members of the community, especially mothers and young girls.
“Here at Lihir, we believe that with awareness there is a greater chance of reducing the number of women and girls falling victim to breast cancer,” said employee engagement officer Margaret Yanda.
Prior to Pink Ribbon Day, weekly awareness programs were conducted at various work areas to also help male employees learn about breast cancer and that would enable them to bring the knowledge back home to their womenfolk.
Pinktober, as it is also called, also reminds women to develop the habit of taking regular medical checks because early detection is believed to be an effective way to save lives. Last month, 70-100 women from the Lihir operations and communities turned up at the island’s Medical Centre for mammogram checks. The numbers this year is an increase from years back and indicates the support Lihir’s women employees give to the women and girls in the Lihir community and also pinpoints that women and young girls on Lihir are caring more about their health and personal wellbeing.
The gist of the breast cancer awareness program was to reach out and support the fighters, admire the survivors, honor the taken as well as encourage early detection and support those who are victims to never give up hope. Lihir’s ISOS team helped with supplying material for the campaign.
Further to this, a total of K1400 was raised for the PNG Cancer Foundation through the sale of pink ribbons and merchandise. Wearing a pink ribbon or anything pink in the month of October is a symbol of support in the fight against cancer.

Breast cancer is the second biggest killer of women, after lung cancer. Some men can also develop breast cancer.

Facts you should know about breast cancer;

  • Many women who are under 40 are diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • Men can get breast cancer too – 1 in 1249 men has a lifetime risk of breast cancer.
  • Alcohol use increases the risk of breast cancer.
  • All women are at risk, but family history of breast cancer increases the risk.
  • Women who had never had children, or only had them after 30 have increased risk of breast cancer.

Know your B.R.A.S – Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk

  • Breast aware from 20 – Young women can get breast cancer
  • Reduce your risk – Less alcohol, keep fit. Maintain a healthy body weight.
  • Act on breast changes, show your doctor or nurse
  • Screening mammograms regularly from 40.

– Story and pictures courtesy of Newcrest-Lihir Communication and Public Affairs.