Palau is observing a month-long Cancer Awareness Month awareness, encouraging among unity in the community to combat cancer.

“Cancer continues to be among the top three leading causes of death in the Republic of Palau,” according to a Presidential Proclamation recently signed by President Surangel Whipps Jr.
 It added that according to the 2007-2019 Pacific Regional Central Registry, 56 percent of adult cancers are tobacco related, 22 percent of adult cancers are obesity-related.

 The registry noted that the common cancers observed in Palau are cancers of the Lung & Bronchus, Liver, Prostate, Oral Cavity and Pharynx, Uterus, Colon & Rectum, Breast, Cervix, Thyroid, and Stomach.
Palau’s liver cancer rates are twice as high as the U.S. Because of limitations in screening and diagnosis, other cancers may be underreported.  

The registry even further stated that 27% of these cancers have evidence-based screening tests such as mammography, Pap smear, fecal occult blood testing or colonoscopy; 16% of the cancers could be diagnosed in earlier stages if the patient
presents to the doctor early enough for a thorough history and physical
exam; and 65% of adult cancer patients passed away within five (5)
years of diagnosis.

“With the alarming rate of cancer and other NCDs, government and community leaders have joined in the united battle against non-communicable diseases will all collaborating partners, have established a National Coordinating Mechanism to guide our efforts to implement a comprehensive approach to NCD prevention and control within Palau,” the proclamation stated.

The president added in his proclamation that given the  NCD statistics, there is an urgency to implement policies that encourage changes to allow for healthy options.

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