Labour MP Kiri Allan reveals grim cancer prognosis

Labour MP Kiritapu Allan has revealed the grim prognosis for her fight against cervical cancer - just a 13 percent chance of survival.

Allan shared the news last night, part of her ongoing campaign to raise awareness of the importance of regular pap smears and also of the inequities in health care in New Zealand.

Speaking to Newshub's The Hui, Allan said that she discovered during her diagnosis that Māori women have a dramatically lower rate of survival than others.

"When I got told that I had cervical cancer, they said for somebody with stage 3C you have a 40 percent chance of survival. As a wāhine Māori, I have about a 13.3 percent chance of survival," she said.

"Do the maths on that. I don't know why that is, how that is, but it's wrong. The disparity is too much, people are dying far too young. This is a korero that needs to happen again and again and again."

Māori women are more than twice as likely to develop cervical cancer than Pākehā - and three times more likely to die from it, a 2019 study led by Victoria University of Wellington's Te Tātai Hauora o Hine Centre for Women's Health Research detailed.

Allan used her diagnosis to urge other wāhine to get smear tests, saying the late Talei Morrison's rallying calls for women, particularly Māori women, to get tested regularly was the push she needed to get it done previously.

She has said she'd been asked by people after her diagnosis: "Is there anything I can do?"

"My answer now is yes. Please, please, please - encourage your sisters, your mothers, your daughters, your friends - please #SmearYourMea - it may save your life - and we need you right here."

The revelation comes after Allan shared some of the abuse she has received online since going public.

Allan published screenshots of the comments on Twitter on Sunday, with the caption: "Just ya average day on NZ [social media]."

In one of the screenshots shared by Allan, a user told the MP to "get over yourself".

"There are 71 people a day diagnosed with cancer and it sickens me to see you paraded in front of the media/by the media as this poor suffering wretch," the man wrote.

"The Labour Party uses other people's pain and suffering to promote their party and you are one of those victims."

Another user posted a racist comment following Allan's diagnosis, saying Māori women would "assist their cervical cancer issues by abandoning promiscuity rates and developing real self-respect and personal values".

But for every hateful comment, Allan had been flooded with positive ones, sending her love and admiring her strength.

Comments

And if you are young take the Gardasil jab. A very high proportion of cervical cancers are due to the HPV virus. Women must take the inoculation for personal protection, men need to take it because they are the transmitters.
Gardasil changes the odds ... but Pap smears are the diagnostic tool

Reading about Kiri's treatment so far I can say that her journey so far is far from typical. An ultrasound on her first visit to the GP! Follow up assessment at the women's clinic the following day! This is the kind of treatment every woman with such symptoms SHOULD get.... but it isn't. Most have to wait weeks or months for a specialist assessment and initial ultrasound, and then sometimes months longer for any treatment. Is it any wonder the statistics are so bad?

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