Together we can advocate and use our voices for something more than pink, that encompasses many facets of living with breast cancer and October is a special month for those living with breast cancer.

This was highlighted by the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, Rosy Akbar, while officiating at the Pinktober  Morning Tea Fundraiser organized by G Prasad & Associates and the Rotary Club of Suva at the Ashiyana Authentic Restaurant in Suva.

Minister Akbar said that Fiji records up to 600 new cases of cancer every year.

"Sixty – seventy breast cancer surgeries and up to 130 breast cancer diagnoses in both men and women happen each year according to the Ministry of Health. "We know that women do not prioritise their health – they are busy, they have families, they work. As a result, they don’t have time for themselves, or rather do not take out time for themselves,” Minister Akbar said.

"Early detection is key in the treatment of breast cancer. The early detection of breast cancer in women is important for the effective management of the disease. This is exactly why women need to pay attention to their health, first and foremost.”

Minister Akbar also said that men and children's lives are impacted because their wife, mother, aunt, niece, grandma, sister, sister-in-law, mother-in-law has breast cancer, but at the same time the support from the families is extremely important. 

“If you notice any symptoms of breast cancer such as lumps or changes in your breast area, you should immediately speak to your doctor,” Minister Akbar said. 

The Minister also acknowledged G. Prasad and Associates and other stakeholders involved with today's Pinktober morning tea fundraiser and encouraged all government agencies, non-government agencies and business sectors to assist the Fiji Cancer Society in promoting cancer awareness.

“At the end of the day, it is not only about finding a cure or treatment or raising money. It is an action that should unite men and women together through prevention and education and support.

Ms. Aneeta Karan, a 62 year old cancer survivor, said that she noticed an unusual lump on her breast, so she made the proactive decision to visit the doctor. “I was very lucky we found the cancer, when we did as it was a very aggressive form of breast cancer. I have always been very mindful of my body and would always do regular checks, exercise daily and eat healthy food,” she said.

A total of $6,800.00 was handed over by G. Prasad and Associates to the Fiji Cancer Society today.