By Miriam Kinai.
Cancer is a group of diseases in which cells in the body begin multiplying uncontrollably and spreading to other parts of the body. Cancer is caused by gene mutations which are changes in the genes of those multiplying cells. These gene mutations are caused by smoking, radiation, obesity, hormones, viruses and carcinogens (cancer-causing chemicals).
In Kenya, the Kenyan Network of Cancer Organizations states that cancer is the 3 rd highest cause of disease. What is even more distressing is the fact that 60% of persons affected by cancer are less than 70 years old.
Among Kenyan women, the most common cancer is breast cancer which affects 34 out of every 100,000. Cancer of the cervix is the second commonest. In Kenyan men, prostate cancer is the most common as it affects 14 out of every 100,000 while the second most common is cancer of the oesophagus.
The symptoms of cancer depend on the type of cancer. For example, breast cancer symptoms include swellings in the breast and armpit. Symptoms of cancer of the cervix include vaginal bleeding and pain during sex.
Symptoms of prostate cancer include difficulties when passing urine and feeling that the bladder has not emptied completely. Symptoms of oesophagus cancer include difficulty swallowing food.
These cancers result in many Kenyans dying since more than 70% of them are diagnosed late when the tumours are at an advanced stage. To keep yourself from developing and dying from cancer, you have to take charge of your health by doing the following:
1. Eat a healthy diet that is rich in broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, berries and watermelons. These brightly coloured fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that prevent cancer.
2. Abstain from engaging in destructive habits like smoking cigarettes which has been linked to numerous cancers like those of the cervix, colon, oesophagus, kidney, larynx, liver, lung, mouth, pancreas, stomach and throat.
3. Get regular medical checkups which should include an annual PSA (prostate specific antigen) test for men. Women should have yearly pap smears and annual breast exams done their doctors in addition to their monthly breast self-exams.
Being that we’re headed to the cancer awareness month, that is October, AlmasiHealthcare.com has partnered with Family Care Medical Center to provide free cancer checkup this year. The services will include:
1. Free breast cancer screening
2. Free cervical cancer screening
3. Free high blood pressure check
4. Free BMI check
5. Free treatment for acne, eczema and other skin conditions
This health check-up will be held in Phoenix House, 5th floor, Kenyatta Avenue on October 1st 2018 from 8AM to 6PM. Come with a friend so that you can get free testing service. Always remember, prevention is better than cure!