As another World Cancer Day (WCD) arrives on Monday, February 4, 2019, the Society of Oncology and Cancer Research of Nigeria (SOCRON) sincerely acknowledges and thanks all individuals and groups that are unrelenting in tackling cancer epidemic in Nigeria and across the globe.
SOCRON believes in improving cancer care and prevention. We focus on our mission of developing the capacity of health care workers in Nigeria to manage patients with cancer and conduct research in cancer to minimize cancer burden in our society. Reports have it that between 30-50% of all cancer cases are preventable, and prevention offers the most cost-effective long-term strategy for the control of cancer. Over a third of all cancers can be prevented by reducing exposure to risk factors such as tobacco, obesity, physical inactivity, infections, alcohol, environmental pollution, occupational carcinogens and radiation. Prevention of certain cancers may also be effective through vaccination against the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), helping to protect against liver cancer and cervical cancer respectively. Reducing exposures to other carcinogens such as environmental pollution, occupational carcinogens and radiation could help prevent further cancers. Besides, several cancers can be identified early to improve chances of successful treatment outcomes, often at lower costs and with fewer or less significant side effects for patients. There are cost-effective ways to detect breast, cervical and other cancers early.
We call on government to implement national policies and programmes to raise awareness, reduce exposure to cancer risk factors, and ensure that people are provided with the information and support they need to adopt healthy lifestyles. We also implore individuals, corporate bodies, societies and NGOs to do more in cancer care and in boosting cancer research and training activities. With these, the global target of a 25% reduction in premature deaths from cancer and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by 2025 is possible. I am unstoppable and I will fight for a cancer-free world!