8 November 2017

Botswana: 'test Cancer Earlier for Better Treatment'

Photo: The Monitor
A physicist administers radiotherapy treatment to a cancer patient at Mulago hospital using the old Cobalt 60 machine bought 21 years ago.

Serowe — An oncologist at Sekgoma Memorial Hospital, Dr Ahmed Shariff has advised the public to test early for cancer, as early detection could be advantageous in treating the disease.

Dr Shariff said this at the cancer awareness activity which was organised by the Serowe Central Lions club, in collaboration with Sekgoma Memorial Hospital Department of Cancer recently.

"Early cancers are curable, therefore I would like to advise you to test while there is still time" he said.

Highlighting the most common cancers in Serowe, he said, cervical cancer, breast cancer, caposy sarcoma, lymphoma were most prevalent in the area.

Dr Shariff said they had developed a strategy to attract the public to come for screening after realisation that most come for test at a late stage.

He said Ministry of Health and Wellness had done a commendable job in providing resources for cancer screening and treatment, adding that with Non-Governmental Organisations such as Lions Club, participating in such events, it would further boost their efforts to effectively screen and treat cancers.

Dr Shariff further advised women to perform cervical cancer screening as it was the easiest and most accessible test, in which instant results could be given and treatment done for minor infections.

He noted that the Visual Inspection and Treat (VIA) Colposy and pap smear was also available hence the need for people to utilise these facilities to their benefit.

"As far as prevention is concerned, the HPV vaccine is useful for young girls to prevent the development of cervical cancer," he said.

Dr Shariff also noted that breast cancer was on the rise due to changes in the lifestyle and the quality of life in Botswana, which had prompted them to promote breast cancer screening more effectively, so as to identify it earlier and avail treatment.

"Regarding HIV related cancers, such as Lymphoma, anal cancers, promotion of HIV prevention is the solution to prevent such cancers," he said.

For her part, Serowe Central Lions Club vice president, Ms Julia Bothasitse said their club consisted of voluntary work and their main focus was health issues.

She said since October was the month of cancer, they had seen it fitting that they called people, educated and screened them on cancer.

Source : BOPA


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