Palau President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. told the media that Palau shares the sentiment of other Pacific nations that Australia as “a big brother, can do more than what they are currently doing.”

As cancer remains continues to be the top three leading causes of death in Palau, the month of September has been declared as cancer awareness month by President Remengesau.

World Cancer Day is observed on February 4 with ‘I am and I will’ as a theme, this theme will be adopted by Palau for the month of September as Presidential proclamation reads it is “An empowering call-to-action urging for personal commitment and represents the power of individual action taken now to impact the future, and a call for everyone to join the cause.”

According to the 2007-2015 Pacific Regional Central Cancer Registry, 56% of adult cancers are tobacco-related, 21% of adult cancers are obesity-related, 27% of adult cancers such as cervical and breast cancers have evidence-based screening tests. The registry states that 16% of adult cancers could be diagnosed in the early stages which can be treated and 65% of those diagnosed with cancer die within five years.

Tobacco and alcohol use, poor eating habits and unhealthy diets, including physical inactivity, continue to be major contributors to the causes of cancer and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among Palauans

The President through proclamation signed on 27th of August said, “With the current NCD statistics, it is urgent to develop and implement policy that encourage behavioral changes and environmental changes to allow for healthy options to be more affordable and accessible”

The President stressed on the importance of access to cancer screening, early detection and early treatment. (By Eshan Kalyanikar)