Ghana to make world cancer day on Monday

Accra� Ghana will join the international community to celebrate the World Cancer Day on the theme: I am and I will, on Monday February 4, the Cancer Society of Ghana has said.

The World Cancer Day is an initiative of the Union of International Cancer Control (UICC) which seeks to unite the world together in the fight against the global cancer epidemic.

A statement issued and signed by Professor Edwin K. Wiredu, Chairman of the Trustees, Cancer Society of Ghana and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the aim is to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer.

It said the society also seeks to press governments and individuals across the world to act against the disease.

The statement the global celebration has adopted a hashtag #IamAndIWill, so that where ever you are, you have the power to reduce the impact of cancer for yourself, the people you love and for the world.

It is time to make a personal commitment. This year 2019 marks the launch of the three year ‘I Am and I Will’ campaign. ‘I Am and I Will’ is an empowering call-to-action, urging everyone to demonstrate personal commitment.

It represents the power of individual action taken now to impact the future.

The statement said, the World Cancer Day is a campaign built to resonate, inspire change and mobilise action long after the day has passed.

A multi-year campaign offers a chance to create long-lasting impact by increasing public-facing exposure and engagement, more opportunities to build global awareness and impact-driven action. Everyone has the power to reduce the impact of cancer, the statement said.

It said currently 9.6 million people die from cancer every year. At least one third of common cancers are preventable. Cancer is the second-leading cause of death worldwide.

Seventy per cent of cancer deaths occur in low-to-middle income countries. Up to 3.7 million lives could be saved each year by implementing resource appropriate strategies for prevention, early detection and treatment.

The total annual economic cost of cancer is estimated at US$1.16 trillion, the statement said.

According to the National Cancer Control Strategy, the GLOBOCAN estimates that 16,600 cases of cancer occur annually in Ghana, yielding an age-standardized rate of 109.5 cases per 100,000 persons.

The statement said the most frequent cancers in men are cancers of the liver, prostate, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) whilst the most frequent in women are cancers of the cervix, breast and liver.

The society expressed concern that about the low awareness of cancer in Ghana, which as have also contributed to late presentation of cases at the health facilities.

Cancers can be caused by a number of different factors. Most cancers are the result of exposure to a number of different causal factors. It is important to remember that, while some factors cannot be modified, around one third of cancer cases can be prevented by reducing behavioural and dietary risks.

The modifiable risk factors include Alcohol, Overweight/Obesity, Diet and Nutrition, Physical inactivity, Tobacco, Ionizing radiation, Workplace hazards, and Infection, the statement said.

It said the non-modifiable risk factors include Age, Cancer-causing substances (carcinogens), Genetics and the Immune system.

The Society said it strongly supports the three-year campaign 2019 to 2021 stressing that about one third of cancers can be prevented by reducing behavioural and dietary risks.

It said it would work closely with other cancer-related groups and the Non-Communicable Disease wing of the country’s health service to create awareness and educate the public about the identified behavioural and dietary risks to cancers.

Source: Ghana News Agency