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Cancer forum

The government should create a more conducive environment for accessibility of cancer services and carry out an in-depth research on early detection as well as treatment of the killer disease in the country.
A renowned oncologist Dr. Billy Njuguna has also called for recruitment of more medical specialists in the field.
“As at now most cancer services can only be accessed in Nairobi, making it difficult for patients outside the county,” said Dr. Njuguna.
Speaking during a forum organized by Limau Cancer Connection Saturday in Nairobi, the oncologist also added that the government ought to work out modalities on increasing accessibility of medical cannabis which contains Cannabidiol (CBD), a psychoactive chemical found in cannabis, which acts as a pain reliever, appetizer and also prevents nausea from chemotherapy treatment amongst cancer patients.
Limau cancer connection founded in 2017, provides a platform of hope for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers. They provide resources that enable them to live a better life after Cancer diagnosis.
“I derived the organization’s name form Limau which in English means lemon” says Nancy Githoitho, the organization’s founder who was inspired by the popular phrase, “when life gives you lemon, make lemonade.’’ This was after she lost her mother to stage 3 breast cancer.
Her motivating factor was that awareness and interactive forums did not exist in the country to offer the support needed by cancer patients and also the rampant cases of misdiagnosis.
Since its inception, the organization has brought together people from different medical backgrounds such as oncologists, physiotherapists and psychologists among others.
Speaking during the same occasion, a cancer survivor Sarah Wangui supported Dr. Njuguna’s opinion on the controversial medical cannabis saying it was beneficial and has helped many cancer patients in other parts of the world.
Wangui was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer in 2015 and has been undergoing treatment since then.
She even came up with the idea of making knitted boobies for those who have undergone surgeries to remove their breasts due to cancer.
“The reason behind this initiative is to make those who have undergone this procedure feel comfortable and not any less of a woman,” stated Wangui.
Both Wangui and Githoitho alluded to the fact that most of the people diagnosed with cancer face stigma and rejection hence the need for support groups and have interactive forums. This is mostly caused by the cost associated with the treatment.
“My first Chemotherapy session cost me Sh300, 000, which is not affordable by most patients and without proper treatment chances of recurrence are very high,” added Wangui.
A clinical psychologist Dr. Margaret Kagwe also addressed the issue of overcoming fear among cancer patients, survivors and also caregivers.
Meanwhile, Limau Cancer Connection organized a march last week and delivered a petition to Parliament seeking to have cancer declared a national disaster.
By Andy Morgan

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