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Cancer awareness among public is low: Kassim

Sri Lankan people's response towards cancer prevention, early detection, awareness etc is very poor. Once a cancer awareness raising programme was held at a village in Ampara and only 15 persons attended it. Around 35,000 people live in that village, Deputy Health Minister Fizal Kassim said.

According to the Deputy Minister, among those 35,000 villagers, at least 10,000 can be women, but the response of them towards the cancer awareness programme was very low. He was addressing a ceremony held at the National blood Transfusion Centre on Tuesday to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October).

Deputy Minister Kassim pointed out that the people's ignorance is very pathetic. People are not interested in obtaining various valuable services offered to them by the government free of charge. Early detection saves lives. But people come for treatment with cancer in later stages. this is because of their ignorance.

"Unlike in the past, now modern medical treatment is available for cancer and the limit allocated by the Government for cancer treatment drugs for patients has been lifted now by Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne. Unlimited funds are offered by the government for cancer patients now. Earlier the maximum limit was Rs. 1.5 million," he added.