WorldCancerDay2019: HPV Vaccine Is Safe Despite Rumours

Nora Nguyen
February 5, 2019

Founded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the day is set aside to raise awareness about the disease and also highlight preventive as well as treatment measures. That commitment was fortified in 2017, when the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution that promoted an integrated approach to providing cancer services, and when in 2018 the WHO Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer was launched.

Our goal may be to "Beat Cancer Sooner" but the current system is pretty much certain to "Beat Cancer Later". If cancer is diagnosed early it is treatable and the survival rate is high.

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Rather than one disease, cancer is a term used to describe more than 200 different diseases. Advocates and some breast-screening experts are criticizing the guidelines for not including density, which is a known risk factor for cancer.

Today is World Cancer Day and this year the focus is on prevention by early diagnosis. It is the responsibility of each and every one to play their part to reduce the burden of cancer in the country.

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But despite the positives of spotting cancer early, many factors can stand in the way, from socioeconomic disadvantages to social taboos and even physical barriers. The process can undoubtedly help bringing down the death rates caused by the disease.

The IARC said that if the myths and rumours surrounding the vaccine are not rejected, deaths caused by cervical cancer could increase to 460,00 per year in 2040. In 2018, of the more than 18 million new cancer cases diagnosed worldwide, almost five million cases of breast, cervical, colorectal, and oral cancers could have been treated more effectively had they been detected earlier. For example, if you have lung cancer, DNA can break off and permeate the blood, which can then be identified by sophisticated techniques.

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Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has commended the efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government at prioritising care for cancer patients. This is done by implementing systematic, equitable and evidence-based strategies for prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment and palliation using available resources. Apart from ignorance on the part of the populace, World Health Organization says that in less than 30 per cent of low-income countries including Nigeria, generally accessible diagnosis, treatment services, and referral systems for suspected cancer are often unavailable resulting in delayed and fragmented care/ poor management. In the wake of this, this February 4 we should conduct awareness campaigns on how to protect against cancer and ask people to get themselves checked regularly so that early stage detection are made and lives are saved. "Approximately 30-50% of cancers can be prevented if these policies are maximally implemented".

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