The World Marks World Cancer Day

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth and spread of cells.


It can affect almost any part of the body and the growths often invade surrounding tissue and can change.


Cancer are of different types and can be prevented by avoiding exposure to common risk factors, such as tobacco smoke.


In addition, a significant proportion of cancer can be cured, by surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy, especially if they are detected early.


This year’s themewill build on the success of last year's campaign, by again focusing on Target 5 of the World Cancer Declaration: Reduce stigma and dispel myths about cancer, under the tagline “Debunk the myths”.

The four myths are:

Myth 1: We don't need to talk about cancer.
Truth: Whilst cancer can be a difficult topic to address, particularly in some cultures and settings, dealing with the disease openly can improve outcomes at an individual, community and policy level.

Myth 2: There are no signs or symptoms of cancer.
Truth: For many cancers, there are warning signs and symptoms and the benefits of early detection are indisputable.

Myth 3: There is nothing I can do about cancer.
Truth: There is a lot that can be done at an individual, community and policy level and with the right strategies; a third of the most common cancers can be prevented.

Myth 4: I don't have the right to cancer care.
Truth: All people have the right to access proven and effective cancer treatments and services on equal terms, and without suffering hardship as a consequence.

The purpose of World Cancer Day is to raise awareness about cancer to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.

According to the Kenya Medical Association, it is estimated that 28, 000 new cases of cancer are reported each year in Kenya with more than 22, 000 deaths per year.

The Union for International Cancer Control also revealed that a total of 7.6 million people die from cancer worldwide every year, out of which, 4 million die prematurely between ages 30 and 69.

According to 2008 data, Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide and accounted for 7.6 million deaths (around 13% of all deaths) that year, which has led to a major concern among the people all over the world.

By Beth Nyaga

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