The cancer burden is rising globally, exerting significant strain on populations and health systems at all income levels. In Kenya, cancer is the 3rd leading cause of death after infectious and cardiovascular diseases. The International Agency for Research in Cancer (IARC) GLOBOCAN report for 2018 estimated 47,887 new cases of cancer annually with a mortality of 32,987. This represents close to 45% increase in incidence compared to the previous report that estimated 37,000 new cancer cases annually with an annual mortality of 28,500 in 2012. Breast, cervix uteri, oesophagus, prostate and colorectum are the leading types of new cancer cases in both males and females across all ages, with oesophageal cancer being the leading cause of cancer deaths, followed by cervical cancer and then breast cancer.
It is sad to note that 70-80% of cancer patients in Kenya are diagnosed at an advanced disease when it is not amenable to cure. Cancer is a critical global health and human issue. Today, 9.6 million people each year will die from cancer. This number is predicted to almost double by 2030; making it the second-deadliest disease. 70% of cancer deaths occur in low-to-middle income countries. Less than 30% of low income countries have cancer treatment services available (compared to 90% in high-income countries). Up to 3.7 million lives could be saved each year through resource appropriate strategies for prevention, early detection and timely and quality treatment. Yet, at least one third of cancers can be prevented. This is part of the justification to improve the face of health in our society by creating cancer awareness and early detection through screening and healthy lifestyles modifications towards a cancer free society.
People shy away from clinical screening and due to time, cost and lack of health awareness hence the increase in the menace. The benefit of early screening is to increase chances of early detection and an opportunity for early medical intervention.
If awareness is emphasized, Cancer can be eradicated to the minimal. Many cases are treatable when detected early, thus the community must be sensitized more about cancer in order to save lives.
Cancer Awareness Centre of Kenya conducts screening events according to the National Cancer Screening guidelines in line with the implementation of the National Cancer Control Strategy 2017-2022 which focuses on Prevention, Early Detection and Cancer Screening. This is based on current evidence and international best practice and includes cancers recommended for screening by the World Health Organization which includes breast, cervical, colorectal, prostate, oral and childhood cancers.
The following are the services we offer during our programs;
- Screening for Reproductive Cancers (Cervical, Prostate & Breast).
- NCD Screening (Blood Sugars, Blood Pressure, Height & Weight, BMI)
- Health education
- Nutritional talks.
- Counseling and Social Support.
- HIV/AIDS screening
The ultimate goal is to reduce the preventable morbidity and mortality due to cancer by improving early detection and contributing to prompt and accurate treatment.
Together let’s prevent, control and treat Cancer-The best protection is early detection.