STEPS TOWARDS GETTING RID OF CANCER

by FRANCIS OKOYE

As we celebrate world cancer day 2017, experts have come together to map out steps towards getting rid of cancer, to reduce and delay preventable cancer deaths by 2030.

In a webinar on world cancer day 2017 organized by citizen news services, which featured Dr. Navneet Signh MD, DM, FACP, Fics,Member American society of clinical oncology, examined lung cancer. He revealed that 30% of all cancer is lung cancer, most common in men. It is 2nd cause of death of cancer in woman. It has high fatality rate as 5 out of 6 patients die in developing countries. In developed countries; there is a decline.

The cause of lung cancer include genetics-an important cause is smoking cigarette, Tobacco smoking. It has common clinical presentations; unconsciousness, loss of appetite and can be seen through chest x-ray,finding you have lung cancer is not dependent on x-ray but need to have a Biopsy-using lots of procedure and use of any site which is accessible to check the extent of spread, treatment is usually by surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Getting rid of cancer

To get rid of cancer, it must be a multi discipline service approach as colleagues from all medical fields are involved and the need to Stop smoking is essential.

On breast cancer, Mrs. Nita mullick, cancer survivor and senior educator who has fought and conquered the disease serves as an inspiration to all of us.Nita was teaching in a school in India in 1975 she lost her father to prostate cancer, aunties and cousins had cancer and 1996 she was diagnosed of breast cancer. She had felt a lump in  her breast, her doctors said everything was fine, she insisted, since she had family  history of cancer. She and her sister were diagnosed with cancer, she had sleeplessness, saying I am going to die, yes, but she was positive, she had positive thinking and had good family support and shared her thoughts with friends, all through the treatment, she continued teaching. When she went for her first lecture. Students were shocked but she continued. According to her, early detection of cancer saves life, regular check up, accept your cancer, regular breast examination, remove negative thoughts, if you want to get rid of cancer

 

In 2012, her friend passed on from breast cancer-she has followed the ‘you can, I can’ theme for cancer, working for charitable organization.

Asked what she will like to change in world of cancer for women?

She advised –don’t hide your cancer-no taboo about it, . A woman with her breast almost gone did not tell her husband about it and she died-early detection is key, they should not hide it.

 

Challenges she faced, she said she was quite happy with her life ‘after 7 year of diagnosing and you get diagnosed again, we registered a charitable trust and my partner passed on since breast cancer had spread to her body. We need more support group meetings and cancer awareness teachings, which are done free, yet people don’t come, they are scared of the word cancer, need to reduce mortality rate and social stigma attached to cancer. India, Guinea and Nigeria have highest mortality rate ,India deaths increasing due to cancer.

 

In ovarian cancer, 22000 were diagnosed in USA, 14,000 will not survive. It is the 5th most common cancer. 46% ovarian cancer patients will dies. If diagnosed is made early) the survivor rate is 94% before the tumor has spread.

Getting rid cancer includes change in diet, stopping, smoking, eating fresh foods, juices, screening programmers, HPV vaccination, do breast self exam every month, press breast in one direction and see if there is any lump, rash, fluid coming out of breast or  breast orange in color-better medical facilities, better cancer  facilities that can be accessed. Strengthening of public health care systems.

Tobacco role in helping get rid of cancer

In a media briefing by citizen news service in collaboration with the union on world cancer day 2017:4 February, sustainable development goals one year on what role does tobacco control play    in helping prevent cancer?

‘Tobacco use is one of the main risk factors of NCDs, including cancers, cardiovascular disease, strokes, diabetes and chronic lung disease. It is therefore vital that measures to reduce tobacco use are integrated into any strategy to tackle NCDs

  • NCDs kill 38 million people each year, 82 percent of premature deaths from NCDs occur in low and middle income countries.
  • Smoking accounts for more than 20 percent of all cancer deaths worldwide, in 2010, this was 1,468,950.
  • Tobacco use is the single biggest cause of cancer, smoking increase the risk of at least 14 types of cancers. Lung, larynx, Esophagus, mouth, bladder, pancreas, kidney, liver stomach, bowel, cervix, ovary, nose and sinuses as well as some types of leukemia.
  • Tobacco use is the single biggest avoidable cause of cancer globally, cigars, pipes, bidis, shisha smoking also cause cancer. Tabbaco can be chewed, sucked or taken as snuff. All these forms of smokeless tobacco can cause cancer of the mouth ,gullet and pancreas people who don’t smoke can also develop tobacco related cancers through exposure to second hand smoke in enclosed spaces including homes and cars.
  • Tabbaco does not contribute to economic development, but rather costs countries more than US$ I trillion each year in healthcare costs and lost productivity.

 

Getting rid of cancer by tobacco can be achieve through increased tobacco tax, using the money from such tax for health promotion, smoke free policy which bans smoking in certain establishment, ban on tobacco advertising, promoting and sponsorship-proper and adequate tobacco labeling and packaging . most smokers have little knowledge of the great risk to themselves and others of tobacco use, mass media campaigns –evidence from high income countries show that  mass media campaigns can  successfully promote smoking cessation. It is cost effective because by motivating smokers to  quit, they contribute to reductions in the prevalence of tobacco use and therefore smoking related illness and associated cost.