•What Many Don’t Know About It
Cancer is one disease that is fast spreading in Nigeria and not much has been done by government to manage the situation.
The mention of cancer, like it used to be with HIV/AIDS in the past, sends a huge fear to people mainly because of the cost of managing it.
Though very expensive to treat, cancer, especially colorectal cancer, which is cancer of the colon or large intestines, is spreading fast in the country.
cancer awareness is enough is not enough. Nigeria is a very religious country and this is one of our biggest challenges in creating awareness on cancer and that is why we are getting the clerics involved in our campaigns.
If someone has any health issue, he needs to see the doctors; while the pastors and Imam do the praying. It is very important to first seek medical help to enable the religious leaders know where to channel their prayers to. In Nigeria, you hear people say ‘cancer is not my portion’, yes, cancer is nobody’s portion, but we need to do the needful medically.
Number one cancer affecting Nigeria is the Breast Cancer, followed by Cervical, Prostrate, Lung and of recent, Colorectal Cancer, which most people do not know about. It is the cancer of the colon or the rectum.
Colorectal Cancer is on the increase in Nigeria and people are not aware of it. Some just observe having persistent abdominal pain,gas,narrowing stool, or blood in the stool, unexplained weight loss, difficulty in passing stool, feeling bowel is not completely empty, weakness and fatigue, this symptoms need to check it out at the hospital to be sure it is not colorectal cancer.
The symptoms mentioned above can also be symptoms of other diseases
The patient needs to get checked by a good doctor, a specialist, preferably a Gastrointestinal doctor to get the right diagnosis,There are some specific tests that would need to be carried out to detect if it’s Colorectal Cancer.
The first is the Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT), which is checking the stool samples and the doctor will recommend further investigation which could be the colonoscopy and endoscopy screening to check what is happening in the patient rectum, colon or stomach to know if there is growth or not. And if there is growth in the colon, it does not necessarily mean its cancer.
It might be a polyp, and if it is, it is good news because it can be removed. But unfortunately, people don’t detect this polyp early because they must have been going to different hospitals treating something else. Or they ignore the early signs, by the time they present themselves for treatment the disease is far gone.
Before Colorectal Cancer is prominent among those above 50 years. colorectal cancer has now been detected in children below 25yrs, 14 years.
Food is the major cause of colorectal cancer. We have adopted the Western dieting system. Colorectal cancer used to be the major cancer death in the United States because of their eating habits. We left our organic food for processed food. we just have to be mindful of what we consume.
The survival rate for colorectal cancer is very high if detected early, it is treatable and that it why we are raising awareness on it.
we advocate for early detection and even preach ways to prevent it through food consumption, lifestyle and exercise. If you are above 45 years, get screened for colorectal cancer. It is easier to detect it earlier than treating it with millions of naira. One thing about cancer is that the more the patient needs money, the less is his chances of living.
Exercise helps prevent cancer generally and other disease, it helps the body metabolism. When you exercise, your body part functions well.
Eniola Salu Akintunde, Head Creative Director, Styles By Saennys. www.stylesbysaennys.com www.facebook.com/stylesbysaennys Twitter: @stylelesbysaennys.