By Martin Masinde
Kenyans have been urged to embrace early cancer screening regimen. These are the sentiments of The Chief Executive Officer of The Texas Cancer Center Dr. Catherine Nyongesa.
Dr. Nyongesa, in a meeting to mark World Cancer Survivors Day said, “We reiterate the importance of early cancer screening because if it is detected in the early stages it can be treated before it turns fatal. Early detection of cancer saves lives and cancer is not an infectious disease.”
The highly reputable oncologist adds,
“Cancer treatment has proven to be very expensive and most patients are unable to cater for the expenses. Ngongesa says that she has subsidized costs at her hospital but some patients still find it unaffordable.”
In Kenya, cancer is the 3rd leading cause of death after infectious and cardiovascular diseases. The annual incidence of cancer is estimated at 47,887 new cancer cases, with an annual mortality of 32,987.
Among men, prostate, oesophageal and colorectal are the leading cancers, while among women, breast, cervical and oesophageal cancers are most common.
The leading cause of cancer death in Kenya is oesophageal cancer contributing 13.2 % (4,351 deaths) of cancer mortality. Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death contributing 10% (3,266 deaths) while breast cancer comes in third at 7.7% (2,553 deaths)