Majority of cancer cases discovered late: First Lady

WINDHOEK: THe First Lady of the Republic of Namibia, Penehupifo Pohamba says 80 per cent of cancer cases in Namibia are diagnosed at a late stage.

The First Lady said this on Monday during the second day of the eighth ‘Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa’ conference underway here.

The conference ends on Tuesday.

Pohamba said by the time most cancer cases are diagnosed, there is not much that can be done to save patients’ lives.

“It was discovered that many people do not go for screening for early detection because they lack information on these cancers and some are afraid of the results due to the stigma associated with cancer,” she stated.

She indicated that delays play a crucial role in the fight against cancer.

“Ignorance and a tendency of playing down the screening services has become a big challenge,” she said.

She further indicated that Namibia still faces challenges in fighting cancer.

“Some women and men are not aware of the services provided to fight cancer and those who are aware, do not have the correct facts about the importance of these services,” she stated.

The First Lady furthermore indicated that the Namibian Government has made progress in the capacity-building of health workers in screening for cervical cancer and breast cancer through pap smears, breast examinations and awareness raising at health facilities.

The conference was organised by the Office of the First Lady under the theme ‘Moving forward to end cervical cancer by 2030: Universal access to cervical cancer prevention’.

Over 1 500 delegates from different African countries, Cabinet Ministers and Parliamentarians, as well as health experts are attending the conference.