February 4th every year, is an international event aims to fight cancer throughout the world. The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), in collaboration with the World health Organization (WHO), calls on health ministries and public around the world to unite in fighting the cancer. Today, Feb 5th, Dr Diane Gashumba meets Kigalians in Car free day to deal with the matter.
Cancer is one of the main causes of deaths worldwide. It is estimated that there were 8.2 million cancer related deaths in 2012, and more than half of the cancer deaths caused by the cancers of lung, stomach, liver, colon, rectal and breast. More than 70% of cancer deaths happens in the low-income and middle-income countries, where little or no available resources for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease. Tobacco alone accounts for 1.5 million deaths out of the annual cancer deaths.
In Rwanda, most frequent cancers are: stomach cancer, womb cord cancer, breast cancer, blood cancer, prostate cancer and liver cancer. The World Cancer Day, annually on February 4th, targets to raise awareness of cancer and encourage its prevention, detection and treatment. This day is meant to urge you and me to reflect and ask: “What Action Can We, You, and I take against Cancer?”
Among other objectives of the day, Educating communities about cancer diseases and means to prevent them, taking a positive attitude to combat cancer, saving millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness, etc
The global cancer burden is projected to increase by 75% by 2030 unless urgent interventional strategies are put in place and the projected increase in cancer is likely to hit low income countries that are least equipped like Rwanda. In Rwanda, East Africa and the entire continent, cancer is heavily clouded by ignorance, misinformation, myths, silence and stigma which are associated with delayed diagnosis and preventable death.
To reduce risks of cancer, people have to make healthy choices like avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol use, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, keeping a healthy weight, and being physically active. They also have to participate in cancer screening according to recommended guidelines, and get vaccinated against Hepatite.
Jean Baptiste Karegeya