Group calls for personal, collective action on fight against cancer
By Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja
A cancer prevention campaign group, PinkCruise, has raise an alarm that every day in Nigeria, 32 women die of breast cancer, 28 women die of cervical cancer and 16 men die from prostate cancer. The group, which is the mobile health outreach of National Cancer Prevention Programme, said sadly enough, 70% of cancer deaths occur in developing nations like Nigeria.
While pointing out that this holocaust of untimely death is due to late detection and inadequate treatment, owing to poor infrastructure and lack of organized system of preventive health care, PinkCruise said it is little wonder then, that Nigeria not only has the seventh lowest life expectancy globally, but is now also the poverty capital of the world.
In a statement issued in Abuja to mark this year’s World Cancer Day 2020, the group revealed further that International Agency for Research on Cancer, there are over 18 million new cancer cases globally and 9.6 million cancer deaths every year (about 26,000 cancer deaths daily) and this number is projected to rise.
“Cancer is the most expensive disease globally and drives the poor and vulnerable victims deeper into poverty. The global economic toll of cancer in 2010 was 1.16 trillion dollars. Sadly, 70% of cancer deaths occur in developing nations like Nigeria. Little wonder then, that Nigeria not only has the seventh lowest life expectancy globally, but is now also the poverty capital of the world.
PinkCruise stressed that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are now responsible for majority of global deaths, with cancer being a leading cause of death and the single most important barrier to increasing life expectancy in every country of the world in the 21st century.
The explained that cancer is a very apt fulcrum because its risk factors include other killer diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, renal diseases, obesity, malaria, hepatitis, Human papilloma virus infection and HIV/AIDS as well as habits like smoking, physical inactivity and excessive alcohol intake. These risk factors are common to other NCDs.
World Cancer Day (WCD) is a global advocacy day dedicated to amplify the call for action and to rally the international community to end the injustice of preventable suffering from cancer. It is marked on February 4 every year. 2020 marks the midway point of the 3-year ‘I Am and I Will’ campaign. ‘I Am and I Will’ is an empowering call-to-action urging for personal commitment and represents the power of individual action taken now to impact the future.
To address this cancer problem, the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP), a nongovernmental initiative of mass medical mission pioneered community-based mass cervical cancer screening across the country, in 2007 and later incorporated other cancers.