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World Cancer Day 2019

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LAST Monday Nigeria joined the world to mark World Cancer Day. World Cancer Day is an international day marked on February 4, to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection and treatment.

World Cancer Day was founded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UNICC) to support goals of the World Cancer Declaration written in 2008. The primary goal of World Cancer Day is to reduce illness and death caused by cancer.

The theme of this year is “I am and I will”.  2019 marks the lunch of the 3 year “ I am and I will campaign” ( 2019 to 2021). “ I am and I will campaign” is an empowering call to action urging  for personal commitment and represents the power of individual action taken to impact the future.

According to World Health Organisation cancer is a leading cause of death around the world. With people dying every year worldwide due to various forms of cancer, and half of these dying well under the normal life expectancy for their region, cancer is truly a global scourge that needs attention

In recent times people have acknowledge this day by wearing one of the cancer awareness ribbons. Different color ribbons represent different types of cancer – as shown by the chart below.

Cancer Awareness Ribbons

Multi-colored: All cancers, Lavender: All cancers, Pink: Breast cancer, Amber: Appendix cancer, Grey: Brain cancer, Gold: Childhood cancer, Dark Blue: Colon cancer, Orange: Kidney cancer/Leukemia, Purple: Pancreatic cancer, Teal: Ovarian cancer, Light Blue: Prostate cancer, White: Lung cancer/Cervical cancer, Violet: Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Emerald: Liver cancer, Black: Melanoma cancer, Yellow: Bone Cancer, Purple: Bladder cancer

Commemorating the event in Ibadan wife of Oyo State Governor, Mrs Florence Ajimobi charged the general public not to take cancer diagnosis as a death sentence, rather, they should encourage patients to seek adequate medical attention to survive the scourge.

Ajimobi who stated this at the event organised by the Access to Basic Care (ABC) foundation to mark this year’s World Cancer Day, advised girls to abstain from early sexual activity which increases their chances of cervical cancer.

She noted that breast and cervical cancer were the most prevalent among females, harping on the need for early detection through breast self-examination, pap smear test and mammogram.

Speaking at the event held at Bodija International School, on   Tuesday, Ajimobi urged young girls to resist pressure from their peers, but adopt the right attitude and practices to reduce their tendency.

More important, according to Ajimobi, was the need for children to focus on their academic pursuit and strive for excellence and success.

Highlight of the event was the inauguration of Just Us Girls’ (JUGs) club at the school, aimed at training girls to champion the fight against cancer in Oyo state and Nigeria at large.

Contributing Project Coordinator from ABC foundation, Dr Sola Oriniowo said the focus of the establishing the club was to teach the children about cancer, its likely causes and possible prevention; and to also raise a young generation that will lead the combat against it.

Also speaking the Medical Coordinator of the foundation, Dr Oluwatobi Lawrence said contrary to earlier studies that breast cancer was a threat to women above the age of 50, recent studies have shown that men and younger people were equally prone to it.

She prescribed good diet and breast self-examination as key factors in detecting breast cancer, and enhancing survival rate.

Meanwhile a former Awka Zonal chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association, Dr Oliver  Onwughalu in a statement, described cancer as a bad omen when detected. According to him, the chances of survival are high if detected early.

Dr Onwughalu called on women to go for regular medical check-up for the early detection of cervical cancer of the uterus, among others.

He noted that cancers can occur as a result of life style adaptation of individuals in the kind of things they do or consume or by the kind of things they fail to do.

The former NBA boss expects that every individual should be health conscious and visit their doctors regularly for prostate enlargement for men and breast cancer for women.

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