PORT MORESBY, 08 FEBRUARY 2017 (POST COURIER) — Chewing of betelnut and tobacco use are two of the most important local risk factors for cancer in Papua New Guinea.

This is according to World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Papua New Guinea Dr Pieter van Maaren.


“In Papua New Guinea, we must turn the lens on two of the most important local risk factors for cancer, namely chewing of betel nut and tobacco use.

“It is something everyone, both men and women, can identify with,” he said.

According to an overwhelming evidence, tobacco use causes cancer of which lung cancer is the most common form in which WHO 2014 Cancer country profile revealed that the cancer incidences showed that number of cases for men that suffer from lip and oral cavity is 527,334 for liver, followed by prostate cancer cases of 245 and 196 for lung cancer.

The profile also revealed that for female cancer incidences, there were 938 number of cancer cases reported for cervix uteri, 475 for breast cancer and 475 lip and oral cavity, 248 for thyroid and 213 for corpus uteri cancers.

Health Department health manager cancer service George Otto said the PNG cancer profile is generated by International Agency for Research on Cancer for WHO.

Graphs show that cancer is a common cause of death in PNG and out of every 10 people who have died or will die from natural causes, one will have died or will die from cancer.

However, the actual number of deaths recorded as caused by cancer is not known because most cancer patients do not die at the hospital so these deaths are not recorded therefor, the cancer mortality data is under recorded.

For the incidence of cancer in PNG, the common cancers are: Oral/mouth cancer in both men and women, cervical and breast cancers in females, prostate cancer in men and liver cancer in both men and women.

In all, the estimated cancer incidence in PNG is between 6000 and 10,000 cases per year…..PACNEWS