By: Hertha Ekandjo
The Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) CEO Rolf Hansen says breast cancer cases have risen by 5.7 per cent over the past five years.
“There has been a tragic increase in the number of breast cancer cases for the past five-year period,” said Hansen.
His words follow the launch of the national cancer awareness week that was launched at CAN in Windhoek on Monday.
According to him, CAN has recorded an average of 540 breast cancer cases for the period of 2015 to 2019.
The CEO said that breast cancer is the highest and leading cancer in the country, followed by cervical cancer, with an average of 287 cases per year for the past five years.
He added that prostate cancer was third on the list, with an average of 260 cases per annum.
Hansen said that the chances of women being detected with cervical cancer are very high, especially when they don’t go for a pap smear.
A Pap smear is a test carried out on a sample of cells from the cervix to check for abnormalities that may be indicative of cervical cancer.
He said that with screening done earlier, it would be easier for them to remove cancer cells before it spreads.
Hansen stated cancer cases have been increasing at a fast rate as many people don’t go for cancer checkups up until it has surfaced.
“Not all cancer treatments are successful. Unfortunately, there is what it is, and that is why people are truly afraid of cancer diagnosis,” said Hansen.
“If we as the Namibian community together to create our own awareness and go for screening earlier when they realize that there is something wrong with their body,” explained the CEO.
Moreover, he said that once a person has been diagnosed with cancer at an advanced stage, they can receive medication such as radiation and chemotherapy, which then will help them to save a life.
“Cervical cancer is the most detectable, preventable, treatable and curable type of cancer,” he explained.
The CEO said that being diagnosed with cancer does not mean a death sentence.
“If we are educated on cancer and if it is spoken about, then it will not be a death sentence,” said Hansen.
He concluded that cancer would not be a death penalty if a community works together to raise awareness about cancer.