Forum leaders hope to tackle high rates of cervical cancer

Pacific Islands Forum Leaders are to address the need for action on cervical cancer in the Pacific, when they meet in Port Moresby next month.

They will urge governments to take leadership and to allocate adequate resources to combat the increasing burden of the cancer in the region.

Forum officials have put the matter forward as one of the five priority issues for discussion in the September summit.

The Internation Agency for Research on Cancer says some Melanesian countries have incidence levels among the highest in the world.

The death rate from cervical cancer in Papua New Guinea is 12 times that in Australia

Prevention programmes in the Pacific region are insufficient with only two of the 21 countries and territories surveyed having cancer screening above 40 percent.