World Cancer Day is an international day marked on February 4th of every year to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention,
This year's theme is "I am and I will" calling upon each one of us to be an advocate for the fi ght against cancer and to commit to take individual action today and tomorrow. We all must support, raise our collective voice, take personal action and press our government and leaders to do more to prevent cancer, detect cancer early and provide the right treatment to improve survival and better the quality of life of patients and families battling cancer. Currently in the country there are between 250,000 - 300,000 individuals with cancer at any one time (prevalence). For every 100,000 individuals in the population 350 will be new cancer cases (incidence). For every 100 new cases diagnosed with cancer 80 will be dead after one year (80% mortality).
The five commonest cancers in Uganda in their order are; Cancer of the cervix, Kaposi sarcoma, Breast cancer, Prostate cancer and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Between 30-40% of cancer in the country are linked to infection including HIV. It is important to note that three of these; cancer of the cervix, breast cancer and prostate cancer can be screened for, diagnosed early and if treated properly patients can survive. One of the most preventable cancer, although currently a leading cause of death among women is cancer of the cervix. It is caused by Human Papilloma Virus which is preventable through vaccination.
Men 50 years and above should be screened for prostate cancer which is the commonest cancer in men in Uganda. If detected early prostate cancer can be cured when treated correctly.