Use preventive measures to fight cancer – Medical oncologist

A medical oncologist, Dr Juliet Appiah Quansah, has underscored the need for the government to use preventative strategies to fight cancer in the country.

She also called on members of the public to focus on making the right lifestyle choices to reduce their risk of acquiring cancer, as some cancers could be prevented by living healthy lifestyles.

Dr Quansah, who was speaking in an interview with the Ghanaian Times on Monday stated that increasing awareness about the disease and making available screening centres across the country, especially in hard to reach areas, could also help re­duce the number of cancer cas­es, while detecting the disease at very early stages, when it could be treated easily and effectively.

Explaining, she revealed that several infections like the HIV, Hepatitis “B” and “C” and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) could also cause cancer therefore advised that people must work on minimising their risk of con­tracting such infections.

“Cancer awareness in Ghana is an absolute necessity because increasingly, more people are being diagnosed with the dis­ease, unfortunately there is no corresponding resources for the necessary treatment. A cancer diagnosis is serious and needs immediate attention and acting quickly usually results in better outcomes,” she stressed.

She indicated that eating a balanced diet, regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and taking alcohol in moderation were absolutely necessary for total wellbeing.

The medical oncologist noted that adequate medical equipment and well trained healthcare givers were very important to fighting cancer, “however if these are not readily available, we can focus on awareness creation as some people report late for treatment of cancer because they do not understand their symptoms whiles others do not even know the risk factors so they engage in all manner of acts that increases their risk of getting cancer.”

She said the overall impact of cancer in Ghana and Africa at large, could significantly reduce with education, early diagnosis and effective treatment.

Dr Quansah, who is also the Founder of the Cancer Support Network Foundation (CSNF) appealed to individuals and or­ganisations to support the CSNF help more cancer patients.

February is cancer prevention month and has been dedicated to informing the public about the importance of prevention, early detection and management of the disease.


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