Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
Today is World Cancer Day. The day is observed on February 4 to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. The observance is promoted by the United Nations which aims to reduce illness and death caused by cancer.
The theme for the observance in the years 2022-2024 is ‘Close the care gap.’ That theme refers to eliminating the difference in access to cancer care services faced by populations of various groups based on country income, age, gender, ethnicity, among others.
World Cancer Day was established on February 4, 2000 at the World Cancer Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium, which was held in Paris, France.
The Charter of Paris Against Cancer, which was created to promote research, prevent cancer, improve patient services, also included an article establishing the anniversary of the document’s official signing as World Cancer Day.
Cancer refers to any one of a large number of diseases characterised by the development of abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably and have the ability to infiltrate and destroy normal body tissue. Cancer often has the ability to spread throughout the body.
Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the world. But survival rates are improving for many types of cancer, thanks to improvements in cancer screening, treatment and prevention.
President of the Guyana Cancer Society, Dr. Carl Niamatali has said that, Many types of cancer can be treated and cured, but the majority of persons detect cancer when it is too late.
Dr. Niamatali said that, “There are four stages. If we detect it in stage one or two, we can cure most of the patients. The problem is, the majority of patients come when they have stage three and four, 70-80 percent, in which case we can’t cure them and the majority have passed within 6 to 12 months,” he said.
“It’s all about prevention, it’s all about early detection through screening, if we detect cancer early, we can, with the right treatment, at the right time, cure most of the patients.”
The doctor noted that early screening is important, to detect stomach, colon, throat and other cancers.
While VIA screening and pap smears were done previously to detect cervical cancer, currently there is a new screening that can be done to detect this type of cancer, which is being offered free of cost at the Guyana Cancer Prevention Society.
Breast and cervical cancers are highlighted as two of the leading causes of cancer deaths in Guyana among women, therefore females as young as 20 are being urged to learn self-examination of the breast and to access early screening for cervical cancer.
He noted that by the time a lump is detected in the breast it may be too late hence mammograms and ultrasounds are important.
Persons are also being urged to get screened for prostate, colon, stomach and other cancers.
Persons desirous of screening for the different types of cancers can access these services at all of the regional hospitals across Guyana.