Early Detection of Cancer Crucial

In light of the growing number of cancer cases in the country the First Lady Madam Penehupifo Pohamba has stressed the urgency of early detection and prevention of cancer.

Statistics show that in 80 percent of cancer patients the disease was detected late with not much hope of saving lives, Pohamba pointed out. The First Lady who spoke yesterday at the launch of the “8th stop cervical, breast and prostate cancer in Africa” conference media campaign added that the burden of reproductive tract cancers has been on the increase. The conference will focus on these cancers and is scheduled to take place in July this year. It will attract attendees from across the continent.

The aim of the media campaign is to create awareness on the upcoming conference as well as shed light on cancer, especially those of the reproductive system. These are cervical, breast and prostate cancer that are on the increase.

The First Lady reiterated that breast and cervical cancer are common among women in Namibia whilst prostate cancer is common among men. Studies conducted in the country on reproductive tract cancers revealed many myths are associated with cancer causes, she further highlighted. “It was discovered that people do not go for screenings for early detection because they lack information on these cancers,” Pohamba noted. “In some instances, people are afraid of the outcome of results fearing stigma associated with cancer,” said the First Lady who addressed health professionals, diplomats, civil society and the media at the Windhoek Central Hospital.

Madam Pohamba, who displays an evident passion for health matters in the country and beyond stressed that nobody is immune to cancer, hence awareness creation in communities is crucial. A nurse by profession, Madam Pohamba who is also the patron of the maternal and child health agenda in Namibia, noted the vital role the media can play in bringing to light issues around health and in this case cancer. She urged the media to contribute towards cancer education by running stories on the disease.

“We should give accurate information regarding the importance of screening services, prevention, early detection and care for all these types of cancers,” said Madam Pohamba, gly stressing “we should create more awareness amongst our people to take care of themselves and to seek health care services on time.” Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Petrina Haingura, also implored the media to educate the nation on cancer prevention and the available treatment. “I am taking this opportunity to mandate the media to share accurate information with all communities on the prevention and treatment available to them and to tell them that there is hope,” said Haingura. The occasion saw the unveiling of the official logo for the upcoming “8th stop cervical, breast and prostate cancer in Africa” conference, the conference website as well as media aertisements. The programme concluded with a tour of the cancer ward for children, who were treated to snacks by the First Lady. By Alvine Kapitako

Source : New Era