Seventeen referrals after 70+ radiology screening programme this month

Radiographer Mele Mone started screening programmes in 2019 has picked up 23 cancer cases

In the first radiology screening programme for people 70 years and older, eighty-one people took part over twelve days of screening by Radiographer Mrs Mele Mone. The majority were women, with 53 and 28 men screened.

From this screening programme, seventeen people have been referred to New Zealand, thirteen women and four men. A further twelve women will be followed up in six months’ time.

The screening programmes pick up on suspicious growths and she said that they found with the 70+ age group, they don’t have many thyroid concerns as they did with the screening of those under 70 years but there is a high number of suspicious growths that may be cancerous.

Thirteen women have been referred for mammograms. “We just do the referral for those where the lump detected looks suspicious, it might be cancer or not and four men are referred for prostate,” said Mrs Mone.

Mele Mone is back with the health department as a locum cover waiting for the Health Department’s newly recruited radiographer to arrive. She has been credited for the early detection of many cancer diagnoses since she began the screening programmes in 2019.

Since Mrs Mele Mone started the radiology screening programmes in 2019, a total of twenty-three people were diagnosed with some form of cancer after being referred to New Zealand.

2019 screening5 Breast Cancer
1 Thyroid Cancer
1 Prostate Cancer
2020 screening2 Breast Cancer
2 Prostate Cancer
2 Colon Cancer
2021 screening2 Breast Cancer
1 Prostate Cancer
1 Colon Cancer
1 Bone Cancer
1 Gastric Cancer
2022 screening2 Breast Cancer
20232 Breast Cancer

Mrs Mone said that these numbers are a result of the screening referrals only and do not include the referrals made by the doctors from the medical side. 

In October last year, the total number of cancer diagnoses recorded by the Niue Health Department from 2009 to 2021 was fifty-eight.

The next screening is for people aged 60 to 69, who may have not taken up the offer to be screened in the last four years.

Mrs Mone said that she realizes some people are scared to get screened, afraid of what may be discovered but she is encouraging the older folks to get screened, because whatever the outcome early detection will provide options and treatment.

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