Residents of Kiambu County have been advised to go for cancer screening to enable them detect early symptoms of the killer disease before it advances to unmanageable stage.
The Medical Superintendent of Health, Kiambu Level Five Referral Hospital, Dr. Jesse Ngugi, stressed that when cancer is diagnosed early enough, it will help boost chances of effective treatment and management by the patient and health providers.
Speaking to KNA at the Hospital on Wednesday, Dr. Ngugi highlighted the need to undergo screening exercise frequently depending on one’s age and vulnerability, noting that anyone can develop cancer.
“We cannot assume that some people are immune from the killer disease, everybody is at risk of developing cancer, we must concentrate on the prevention and early treatment,” he emphasized.
The Doctor who also urged Kenyans to register with the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) said that it is important for people above 20 years of age to attend screening every five tears.
He said the Hospital is working closely with other stakeholders such as the Network of Cancer Survivors among other health volunteer groups to educate the public on cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment and management.
The medic, however, clarified that there is no specific or common cause of cancer, noting that genetics also play a role as well as lifestyle, obesity and risk behaviours such as multiple sex partners.
Dr. Ngugi added that excessive use of tobacco and alcohol may lead to contracting mouth, throat, cervix, and kidney and lungs cancers with risk of developing even other types of the disease.
He advised Kenyans to moderate their alcohol intake, reduce processed food particularly red meat, saying such food catalyzes the risk of certain types of the disease including breast and liver cancers.
The Doctor at the same time urged the public to avoid strong direct sunrays such as that experienced during tropical midday.
Dr. Ngugi urged people to avoid risky behaviours such as engaging in unprotected sex, noting that multiple sexual partners increases the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS hence they risk developing certain cancers.
“Protection from viral infections can prevent one developing certain cancer including that of liver,” he explained.
The medic at the same time informed that vaccination against some opportunistic diseases such as Hepatitis B also helps in the management of the killer disease.
Dr. Ngugi stressed the importance of avoiding risk of developing cancer, saying the disease impacts greatly on the family resources.
“It is expensive to manage cancer, it eats into the family socially and financially, cancer control involves use of chemotherapy for tumors, hormonal and radiation therapy, “he added.
The Medic said cancer affects humans depending on age bracket and gender explaining that some types of the disease are common in men, children and females.
“Men commonly suffer from cancer of liver, prostate, skin and esophagus while children develop leukemia while cervical cancer attacks mainly women. Women risk contracting Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which causes cancer of the vulva, vagina and anus. Men are only carriers of the virus,” he said.
By Lang’at Edwins