TOPIC

CANCER: A LIFESTYLE DISEASE

 

The Invited Guests,

The Medical Team,

The Machakos Community,

The University Staff and Students,

Good morning

 

Ladies and gentlemen

It is not lost to me that Machakos University is this day having its first ever medical camp in this region. This is a sign that the University is moving towards fulfilling its core mandate of community service. A university worth its name must benefit the community and not only improve its economic activities but also uplift the health and the wellbeing of people around it to attain the country’s Universal Health. Universal Health Coverage (UHC) concept is firmly based on WHO constitution of 1948 declaring health a fundamental Human right. This is equally in line with the Constitution of Kenya 2010 that confers on every Citizen Highest attainable standards of Health Including Reproductive Health.

H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta reaffirmed the objective of Kenyan constitution through the Big Four Agenda where Affordable Health Care is a pillar. It is my view that UHC should be every body’s business and a multi-sectoral approach is the way to go in the realization of this concept of Health care delivery.  Individuals like you and me have a great role to play in this Journey to UHC.

 

Ladies and gentlemen

It has been documented that more than 2 million people are expected to die of lifestyle diseases this year. That’s almost more than 5400 people dying daily. Other statistics show that an average of 1/2 of men and 1/3 of women will develop lifestyle diseases that are terminal. Recent statistics indicate that, 60% of total global mortality annually is due to lifestyle diseases mainly cancer, diabetic mellitus, cardiovascular diseases and respiratory diseases.

 

Ladies and gentlemen

In my remarks todays I wish to inform you about this devastating terminal disease called cancer and underscore the need for its frequent medical check-up as will happen in this medical camp today. Lifestyle diseases are serious diseases yet preventable and curable in some instances. Cancer is the Third commonest cause of Death in Kenya with new estimates indicating 48,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed each year and close to 33,000 cancer related deaths every year. These statistics call for concerted efforts in dealing with specifically the cancer menace. Breast Cancer, Cervical Cancer and Colorectal Cancer remain the commonest cancers in the country. So what is what cancer? What are ways of preventing it? And what are the ways of treatment it?

To start with, I will explain what cancer is. According to world scientists and medical specialists, Cancer is a condition of uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells. Normal cells usually grow and divide to replace old or dead cells. Unfortunately, cancerous cells on the other hand, continue to grow and divide and accumulate in one place. The accumulated cells form tumours or the swellings as we call them. Tumours destroy our normal body cells. There are 2 types of tumours: the “malignant” and the “benign”. Cancers are classified according to the body part in which it originates. For example, cancer that grows in your breast is called breast cancer in the prostate glands is called prostate cancer.

 

Ladies and gentlemen

Allow me to talk about how to prevent cancer cells from forming. A person can take different measures to lower his/her chances of developing cancer. Lifestyles can affect the chances of future cancer development. For instance, smoking/drinking will increase the chance of getting cancer while being active and maintaining recommended BMI with sufficient exercises will minimise the chances of getting it. It has also been confirmed that eating healthy like from plant sources e.g fruits, vegetables etc and avoiding fatty foods and animal products prevents cancer diseases.

 

Ladies and gentlemen

I wish to finally discuss the treatments for cancer. There is a saying which goes that” a doctor treats you but God heals you” Though this is true, there are various treatments for cancer. Surgery is reckoned to be the oldest form of cancer treatment. It offers the greatest of cure for cancer.   It is said that 60% of cancer patients receive surgery operation worldwide. Other treatment include radiation therapy that use high energy particles to kill cancer cells. We have also chemotherapy that use of drugs. It is said to be more effective because it is intravenous i.e cancer cells drug killer is introduced into your bloodstream and circulates throughout your body killing cancer cells.

 

Ladies and gentlemen

In conclusion, cancer is a condition of uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that evolve into tumours. Fatty foods, smoking, and drinking all affect the chances of developing cancer diseases. Treatments for cancer include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

Anyone can become a victim of these lifestyle diseases like cancer but we can decrease our chances of getting them by being more informed on the disease and how to prevent it like we have medical camp today. Remember,” Medicine is not Health Care, Food Is Health Care. Medicine is Sick care.” And if you don’t take your food as Medicine then you might end up taking your medicine as food.

Let us all focus our efforts on preventive and promotive health care and medical camp today at Machakos University is one of those efforts.

 

Thank you and God bless