World Cancer Day targets reducing global cancer burden

BY: Timothy Gobah
Prof. Linda Naa Djama-
Prof. Linda Naa Djama-

Each year, World Cancer Day takes place on February 4 to unite the world in the fight against cancer.

The day aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year through education, raising awareness and encouraging people to take action.

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The World Cancer Day targets misinformation, awareness creation as well as reducing stigma. The 2018 theme for the World Cancer Day is "We Can. I Can".

The theme seeks to explore how everyone or an individual can play their part to reduce the global burden of cancer.

Suggested we can-based initiatives include collective activities such as creating healthy cities and I can-based initiatives include things you can do on your own such as making healthy lifestyle choices.


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Cancer awareness

At a Cancer Awareness and Prevention programme in Cape Coast last Sunday to mark the celebration, a Lecturer and Counsellor at the University of Cape Coast, Prof. Linda Naa Djama-Forde, called on the government to set up cancer research and statistics centres in the country.

She said results from statistics conducted by these centres would help the health sector take accurate measures to curb the disease.

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That she said, would be done by showing how useful a new treatment was and how it could contribute to slowing down or curing cancer.

“Currently, it is private individuals who are conducting these researches, no fund has been put aside to do it. The government should take it up and put measures in place to create these centres,” she stated.

Prof. Djama-Forde said there was the need to continue educating people on the symptoms and causes of the disease to ensure early detection and prevention, and advised patients suffering from cancer to seek medical attention early rather than going to prayer centres and churches.

The programme was organised by the New Vision Foundation-International (NVFI), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), in collaboration with the Premium Clinic. The primary goal of the World Cancer Day is to significantly reduce illness and deaths caused by cancer by 2020.

Collaboration

A Clinical Health Psychology Physician for the Premium Clinic, Dr Isaac Newman Arthur, said there was the need for people to lead healthy lifestyles to prevent cancer which was the second leading cause of deaths in the world and had killed 80 million people,
“People should ensure they live a healthy lifestyle and examine themselves for symptoms of cancer. Although we are doing well, there is the need to increase awareness of the disease”, he added.

The Executive Director of the New Vision Foundation International (NVFI), Mr Gabriel Nii Kommey Adams, called on the President through the Minister of Health to establish what he termed " one-district, one-cancer screening and awareness centre " to disseminate credible and useful information on cancer.

He said there was the need to educate the public on prevention, symptoms, causing factors, myths and treatment of the disease to reduce illness and deaths caused by cancer.

The global target is a 25 per cent reduction in premature deaths from cancer and Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) by 2025. This was a target set in 2011 by the World Health Organisation (WHO).