#WorldCancerDay is marked on February 4 to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. World Cancer Day was founded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to support the goals of the World Cancer Declaration, written in 2008. The primary goal of the World Cancer Day is to significantly reduce illness and death caused by cancer by 2020.
There are multiple initiatives run on World Cancer Day to show support for those affected by cancer. One of these movements is #NoHairSelfie #NoBra, a global movement to have “hairticipants” shave their heads either physically or virtually to show a symbol of courage for those undergoing cancer treatment. Images of participants are then shared over social media.
In Nigeria, a review by Independent reports,
WHO latest data shows that worldwide, there were about 14 million new cases and 8.2 million deaths from cancer in 2014, of which half died prematurely (aged 30-69 years). About 70 per cent of these deaths occurred in developing nations like Nigeria. To put this into perspective, 1.1 million people died of Tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS killed 1.2 million people and malaria killed less than 500,000 people globally, during the same period.
This means that cancer kills about thrice the number of people who die of tuberculosis, HIV and malaria combined, according to the world body. Nigeria has had a significant increase in the incidence of deaths from the common cancers within four years. In 2008 breast cancer killed 30 Nigerian women daily; by 2012 this had risen to 40 women daily.
In 2008 prostate cancer killed 14 Nigerian men daily; by 2012 this had risen to 26 men daily.
In 2008 liver cancer killed 24 Nigerians daily; by 2012 this had risen to 32 daily.
The most common kind of cancer in Nigeria is prostate cancer for men and breast cancer and cervical cancer for women. Though there are more death cases, there are not as many rare-type-cancer cases in Nigeria.
The citizens indifference to the disease is due to the notion the illness kills only the rich or if you have the illness, you must be a big man. The average Nigerian has no idea how deadly cancer can be and so most do not even bother getting check-up. Still there are those who hide under religion. Early diagnosis of an illness like cancer is essential to recovery.
Many die without even knowing what killed them. Cancer is an illness that doesn’t discriminate, knows no race, color or religion. Middle-income families are usually hit the hardest.
The essence of #WorldCancerDay specially reserved for the February 4th, is to enlighten Nigerians and the world on everything they need to know about cancer.
There are lots of unhealthy habits we possess or display that can trigger the illness but ignorance keeps us numb. Still,there are those who know but don’t care either way.
Always wash your hand and feet when you get home after plying the road or exchanging money.
Keep your home neat and tidy.
Eat healthy. Exercise. Sleep.
Don’t drink energy drinks.
Check expiry dates on all products.
Stick to a particular product so you know what works for you and what to hold responsible should anything happen.
Pay attention to your lifestyle, health and hygiene.
Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. Always air out before rolling up when driving in air conditioner.
Live a healthy life.
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