By Eugene Wanekeya
Apologies for the alarming heading, it was the only way I could think of to grab your attention for just a few minutes. The rate at which Cancer is claiming lives in Kenya is alarming. It is for this reason that I am making an exception and featuring a non-tech post on my blog this month. The sad state of affairs warrants it.
Cancer is currently the third cause of death in Kenya after cardiovascular and infectious diseases. On average, 78 people die every day as a result of Cancer. Statistics from the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) indicate that about 38,500 new cases and 26,900 deaths are reported in the country annually.
Cancer can either be hereditary or sporadic. It does not discriminate between young or old, rich or poor, male or female, literate or illiterate, it attacks all alike. Sporadic Cancer is whereby people develop Cancer late in life as a result of genetic mutations which result in Cancerous cells growing out of control. These mutations may result from normal aging, environmental toxins, sun exposure, dietary factors, hormones, amongst other influences. Hereditary Cancer on the other hand is whereby people are born with a genetic mutation that they inherited from one or both of their parents. This damaged gene puts them at a higher risk of Cancer than most people.
Early detection is your best bet in the fight against Cancer. Each one of us is strongly advised to visit a medical facility as early as possible and get a Cancer screening. Early detection enables Oncologists to determine the best treatment regime for a patient to increase their chances of survival. In the event you are Cancer free, you will be given advice on risk factors related to Cancer and how to avoid them.
At the forefront in the battle against Cancer is the Kenya Cancer Association (KenCASA), a voluntary run non-profit organization established in Kenya in 1995. Its goal over the past two decades has been to ensure that all Kenyans are made aware about Cancer, its causes, prevention mechanisms, available treatment and care. This year, KenCASA will be hosting the second edition of ‘Relay for Life’ a 24-hour charity event centered on the theme Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back.
Friends and families of Cancer patients as well as other well-wishers come together in an action-packed 24-hour event to Celebrate those who managed to beat Cancer and are in remission; Remember victims who succumbed to the disease; and encourage those who are still struggling with the disease to Fight Back and beat it. Cancer does not sleep and that is precisely why ‘Relay for Life’ goes on for 24 hours non-stop. Participants in the event take the time to demonstrate their resolve in going toe-to-toe with Cancer.
Dare to Care, join the fight and come be a part of RELAY FOR LIFE KENYA 2015. It is a good opportunity for you to learn more about Cancer, get free screening and network with others in this fight. For more info on how to sign up please check out www.relayforlifekenya.org