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World Cancer Day: Minister urges stakeholders to support patients, survivors

By Justina Auta

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The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Pauline Tallen, has urged stakeholders to support

cancer patients and survivors for a healthier future.

She made the call after a walk organised by the ministry in collaboration with an NGO — Women in ICT, to commemorate the 2021 World Cancer Day in Abuja.

World Cancer Day is annually celebrated on Feb. 4 to raise awareness on cancer and to encourage its prevention, early detection and treatment.

Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body, described as a disease

that results when cellular changes cause uncontrolled growth and division of cells.

The minister, represented by the Director, Women/Gender in the ministry, Mrs. Funke Oladipo, said “cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide,

with 9.6 million people dying annually.

“Up to 70 per cent of these cancer deaths occur in developing countries because of lack of awareness and resources to diagnose and manage the disease.”

Tallen said that the 2021 theme of the World Cancer Day —  “I am and I will”, was apt and called for collaborative actions and interventions to address

the challenges of cancer in Nigeria.

She stressed the need for increased enlightenment and early diagnosis of cancer to reduce incidence rates in the country.

She said “I urge you to continue to raise awareness and educate women and men about cancer, as we can save millions of preventable deaths.

“I also call on relevant government bodies, CSOs, donor partners, private organisations and individuals to rise up to the challenge so we can have

a collective voice.

“There is need for both collective and personal action to show support for a healthier future for cancer patients and survivors.”

The minister also advised the public to adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines to reduce prevalence and risk involved.

The President of Women in ICT, Dr Chinwe Anyachebelu, said that the walk was to raise awareness on cancer and encourage the public

to engage in regular medical check-up for early detection, management and treatment.

“Our aim is to save millions of lives and sensitise people that cancer is real and we have different types of cancers like prostate, colon, leukemia,

breast cancer, skin and others.

“We want people to take care of their health because health is wealth. If you are healthy, you can do anything you want to do.

“We appeal to the public, it is not only when you fall ill that you visit the hospital; with early detection, cancer can be treated and chances of survival is high.”

According to her, the organisation uses ICT to sensitise the public on cancer, noting that it has made arrangements to reach some rural communities to sensitise

them on the disease. (NAN)

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