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Personal commitment to fight cancer

Whoever you are, you have the power to reduce the impact of cancer for yourself, the people you love and for the world

COMMENT | Joyce Moriku Kaducu | Every February 04, Uganda joins the rest of the world to commemorate World Cancer Day, to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. Nearly every family in the world has been affected by cancer, which is now responsible for one in every six deaths globally.

Worldwide, approximately, 9.6 million people die each year from cancer. That is more than HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis combined.

In 2018, Kampala Cancer Registry registered 32,617 new cancer cases, and 21,829 deaths. Unfortunately, many of the cancer patients come to Uganda Cancer Institute with advanced disease when nothing much can be done to cure it. Sensitisation of the public is, therefore, important so that in addition to prevention measures, cancer is diagnosed early.

This year, World Cancer Day was held under the theme ‘I AM and I WILL’ to resonate, inspire change and mobilize action against Cancer both nationally and globally.

This is an empowering call-to-action urging for personal commitment and represents the power of individual action taken now to impact the present and future cancer prevention efforts.

Whoever you are, you have the power to reduce the impact of cancer for yourself, the people you love and for the world. It’s time to make a personal commitment.

Cancer can be prevented by adopting simple lifestyle changes such as;

  • Stop consumption of tobacco
  • Limit harmful use of alcohol
  • Eat healthy, for example foods rich in fruits and vegetables – these foods are readily available in our farms, gardens, and markets.
  • Engage in physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day such as running, jogging, dancing etc
  • Vaccinate yourselves and your children against Hepatitis B and Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) to prevent cancer of the liver and cervix respectively

According to current evidence, between 30% and 50% of cancer deaths could be prevented by modifying or avoiding key risk factors such as tobacco use, harmful consumption of alcohol, physical inactivity, unhealthy diets and obesity.

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