By Matthew Jabby
The 4th of February has been observed as World Cancer Day. The day is observed every year to raise awareness on cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment of patients afflicted by the sickness.
In a press conference held at the Connaught Hospital last weekend, Dr. Owizz Koroma disclosed to journalists that World Cancer Day was founded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to support the goals of the World Cancer Declaration, written in 2008. The primary goal of World Cancer Day, he said, is to significantly reduce death and illness caused by cancer by 2020. He said World Cancer Day will today be celebrated in Sierra Leone for the first since it was chartered in Paris in 2000.
Dr. Kamara said the human body is made up of trillion of cells and that the cells grow, divide and die, maintaining that when the disorderly pattern of growth is brought in then cancer intrudes which has the ability to evade other tissues.
The medico, who is also the sole pathologist in the country, disclosed that cancer is the leading cause of death around the world. He quoted World Health Organization statistics that 84 million people will die of cancer in subsequent years if the disease is not properly handled. He urged members of the public to join the fight to stop the menace of cancer by raise awareness about it in society. He said the Sierra Leone Cancer charity, which is based in the United Kingdom, has raised lot of funds in other to raise awareness about cancer amongst Sierra Leoneans.
Alpha Bedoh Kamara, a member of the ROWACA Cancer Group in Sierra Leone, who revealed he lost his father to cancer, called on his compatriots to join the fight against the spread of the disease in the country. He said the focus of every Sierra Leonean should be to raise awareness about the fact that cancer can kill and has killed many people in society.
Reynold Senesi, a cancer biologist revealed the disease is a non-communicable decease. He said the dissemination of relevant facts about the disease will help raise awareness among people and stop its spread among future generation as there is a tendency that if the right message is disseminated, ninety percent of those diagnosed with the disease early will be saved. He said the priority should be prevention as the treatment of cancer is expensive. He said cervical cancer can be prevented, while the disease can be avoided by limited drinking, smoking, sexual activity and increased consumption of vegetables.
Cremelda Pratt, founder of Thinking Pink Breast Cancer said the prevalence of cancer is high among all facets of people in society. She admonished that because the disease is no respecter of persons, all should come onboard to stop it.