WORLD CANCER DAY 4TH FEBRUARY
Did you know that in Kenya?
- 90 people die every day from cancer? That’s like a fatal accident occurring daily involving 2 bus loads of passengers. Tragic! It does not have to be this way. This is why we must talk about cancer and work to prevent cancer and urge all to get screened periodically.
- There are nearly 48,000 new cancer cases and 34,000 deaths every year
- 80% of cancers are diagnosed too late.
- 30-40% of cancer deaths are preventable?
What is cancer? Cancer happens when the cells in our body start to grow and multiply without control, making it hard for the body to work as it should.
What are the common cancers in Kenya?
- Adults: Breast, cervical, oesophageal (food pipe), prostate, colorectal, stomach, blood and skin cancers. Breast and cervical cancer are the commonest and also among the easiest to detect early.
- Children: blood cancers (leukemia), lymphoma and retinoblastoma (eye)
What causes of cancer?
The causes are not well known but certain ‘risk factors’ increase the chances of getting cancer. We do not have control of some risk factors like: age, genetic, gendar, race, family history and certain types of infections and chemicals
What are the factors you can do something about?
- Avoid Alcohol and tobacco products (even second-hand smoking)
- Avoid high risk sexual behaviour as it can lead to sexually transmitted infections that increase the risk for cancer such HIV and Human papilloma virus.
- Eat a healthy diet: high in vegetables and fruits; and low in processed foods, fats, salt and sugars.
- Engage in regular moderate to vigorous physical activity weekly
- Avoid too much exposure to sun and radiation
- Store your grains properly and avoid moisture.
- Avoid obesity by engaging in physical exercise and maintaining healthy eating habits.
Myths and Truths
- Cancer is NOT caused by witch craft or supernatural forces
- Cancer is not always a death sentence
- Cancer is NOT contagious
- For many cancers there are warning signs and symptoms
- Regular medical check ups are important for screening and early detection of cancer