When I was in Med. School, Cancer never meant much to me, it was just a deadly disease like its friends. I was even part of a research in a rare form of Cancer and made discoveries, but it never got to me how devastating the disease is.
I started as an Intern at a Private Hospital that had a Radiotherapy Machine – this means a lot of Cancer Patients came around. When I did my posting at the Oncology Department, the story changed. I watched people – young, old, rich, poor, educated, illiterate; all pass on due to Cancer. The sad part of it was the social and psychological impact of the disease on the Family and Care givers. There was a Lady with 4th stage (has spread to distant areas of the body) of Breast Cancer on Oxygen support, the Husband was highly supportive. She kept crying of pain and weakness till she passed on one Morning. Though her Husband did all he could, one could tell that he was distraught. One day, he just wanted to talk, his demeanor was calm, but I felt the tension as he quietly told me how he had to juggle work and the kids all alone. Both suffered, for sure, but he just held on to his beloved. That incident and others provoked a strong desire in me to curb Cancer and its effects.
Interestingly, most of the Cancer cases I came across are easily prevented. Prevention can be general, specific, or both.
General measures include:
- change of food to more of natural than artificial
- Good environment
Specific could be:
- Vaccination against HPV (causes Cervical Cancer)
- All forms of Screening
- Intake of Estrogen receptor-blocking agents
- Removal of the Breast
As simple as a regular health check up may be, it can save one’s life, if done by competent people. Early detection can lead to a cure/proper management.
Awareness Awareness Awareness! People can’t take action if they don’t know why they are taking action and those actions may not be effective if they lack understanding. I decided to start a WhatsApp group and a blog just to inform people and encourage them to take strategic action. It is my hope that it will achieve its aim.
I also noticed that Countries with good policies are beginning to enjoy a decline in Cancer Incidence. Less Noise and air pollution (all forms of pollution), good health facilities and systems, good agricultural techniques, they are just a few of policies that may promote life.
Tomorrow is World Cancer Day, #WecanIcan, what will you do to curb Cancer?