MORE than 368 cases of breast cancer and 246 new cases of cervical cancer have already been recorded on the Namibia National Cancer Registry (NNCR) – this while all data has not even been cleaned up and processed yet.
The indication for the 2015 and 2016 statistics on cancers affecting women in Namibia, leads to the conclusion that more women in our country are now diagnosed with these two leading forms of cancer than ever before. The statistics show that 373 Namibian women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 – while nine men were positively diagnosed as well during the same year for breast cancer; 241 cases of cervical cancer was reported in 2014.
“As we celebrate PINK DAY on October 28, may we acknowledge the brave women of our country who fight cancer daily. May we remember those who have lost the battle – and may we stand as one for those who need our support to fight bravely still,” says the Cancer Association on Namibia (CAN). “The reality we face in Namibia is that on average more than 3 000 Namibians are newly diagnosed with cancer annually in our country; and with a small population around the three million mark this is indeed shocking!”
Skin, breast and cervical cancers are the most commonly diagnosed forms of cancer – this while evidence shows that cervical cancer is on a very sharp incline. According to CAN , too many Namibian women die from cancer unnecessarily.
During a pre-recorded special message of hope for the 11th Annual Hats & Roses Ladies breakfast, the First Lady of the Republic of Namibia, Mrs Monica Geingos, called for the unification in the fight against cancer by all Namibians: “This is a collective fight – it takes the diagnosis or loss of a loved one to take the message of early detection serious. Let’s talk about cancer – talk to your mother, your sister, your daughter, your colleagues and talk to you domestic worker! We must all start to talk about this disease”.
How can you support the fight?
The Cancer Association of Namibia and Spar Namibia this year embarked on a new joint-campaign to help create awareness and raise funds to support women afflicted by cancer, through the ‘Power Punch for Pink’ t-shirt drive.
Namibians can purchase the t-shirt at N$100 at all participating Spar stores nationwide, while the CAN also has the ‘Power Punch for Pink’ and the ‘Unwrap Hope’ t-shirt and pink goodies collection.
During the 2015/16 financial year, the CAN assisted cancer patients through the Patient Financial Assistance Programme, the Commodity Assistance Programme, and the Travel and Accommodation schemes to the tune of N$3 263 865.00.
During the current period (1 March 2016 to date), the association has already supported in the fight against cancer to the tune of N$2 040 949.00 in patient assistance; while the new children’s interim home and the new clinic for screening and support is at an investment of N$6 500 000.00
How can I help protect myself against cancer?
We have to make the necessary lifestyle changes which are in our control, and try to prevent cancer:
Know the early warning signs of cancer
Go for screening tests
Fear, ignorance and complacency lessen survival rates.
Dietary factors, physical inactivity, being overweight and obesity are estimated to account for approximately 30 percent of cancers in western countries. This proportion is thought to be about 20 percent in developing countries and is projected to increase. ‘Energy balance’ is defined as a balance between energy intake, in the form of food and drink, and energy output, in the form of physical activity. An imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure lead to weight gain or loss.
Being overweight can lead to cancer later in life.
Regular exercise helps prevent cancer.
Stop smoking – prevent 1000’s of new cancer cases every year.
Limit alcohol consumption.
Eat five portions of fruit and vegetables daily.
A lump or thickening in the breast or elsewhere
Unusual bleeding or discharge
Change in normal bowel or bladder habits
Hoarseness or cough
Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing
Change in a wart or a mole
Sudden loss of weight
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