World Cancer Day (February 4 every year), is a day set aside by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to raise awareness about cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. It is a day dedicated to getting the world to take action against cancer.
Cancer, also called malignancy, is an abnormal growth of cells. There are more than 100 types of cancer, including breast cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and lymphoma.
Cancer affects everyone in different ways, and its symptoms vary depending on the type. Every individual has the power to take various actions to reduce the impact that cancer has on families and communities.
Today, Nigeria joins the world in commemorating this year’s World Cancer Day themed “We Can, I Can”. This is yet another chance to reflect on what actions one can take to make a difference in the fight against cancer.
It explores how everyone collectively or individually can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer in the world.
The commemoration emphasizes on the need for us to examine the current cancer situation in Nigeria and to determine how we can all take action.
WHO’s data shows that over 100,000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer annually, about 80,000 of such persons die, giving a dismal survival rate of one to five.
According to WHO, Nigeria has had a significant increase in the incidence of deaths from the common cancers within four years.
The “BIG WAR” against cancer is designed to establish the infrastructure for efficient and effective cancer prevention and treatment in Nigeria.
Nevertheless, some of the general signs and symptoms of cancer include:
Unexplained weight loss
Change in bowel habits or bladder function
Sores that do not heal
White patches inside the mouth or white spots on the tongue
Usual bleeding or discharge
Thickening or lump in the breast or other parts of the body
Indigestion or problem swallowing
Everyone is urged to be at alert and also participate in fighting cancer.