WHAT IS CANCER

2016 – 2018 Cancer Awareness and Prevention Manual for the Republic of Namibia

The “2016 – 2018 Cancer Awareness and Prevention Manual for the Republic of Namibia” as presented by the Cancer Association of Namibia through the guidance of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) falls under the World Cancer Prevention Campaign of the UICC. The aim is to put cancer on the global agenda and to scale up awareness of the fight against cancer, which in many counties, still takes a back seat to other public health priorities.
World Cancer Day on 04 February annually allows the Association the opportunity to raise public awareness through the media on a national level. During 2016 -2018 this will be an ongoing campaign throughout the year with awareness and education sessions in Namibian schools, community halls, the workplace and medical centres – every Namibian must be informed!

Namibians should pay close attention to this very important message:
• We have to make the necessary lifestyle changes which are in our control, and try to prevent cancer.
• Know the early warning signs of cancer
• Go for screening tests
• Fear, ignorance and complacency lessen the survival rates.
•Dietary factors, physical inactivity, overweight and obesity are estimated to account for approximately 30% of cancers in western countries, making diet and physical activity second only to tobacco as a preventable form of cancer. This proportion is thought to be about 20% in developing countries and is projected to grow.
• “Energy balance” is defined as a balance between energy intake, in the form of food and drink, and energy output, in the form of physical activity. An imbalance between energy intake and energy expenditure lead to weight gain or loss.

Risk Factors of Cancer:
• Being overweight can lead to cancer later in life.
• Regular exercise helps prevent cancer.
• Stop smoking – prevent 1000’s of new cancer cases yearly
• Limit alcohol consumption
• Eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables daily

To reduce the burden of cancer early detection is imperative – know the warning signs of cancer:
• A lump or thickening in the breast or elsewhere.
• Unusual bleeding or discharge
• Change in normal bowel or bladder habits
• Hoarseness or cough
• Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing
• Change in a wart or a mole
• Sudden loss of weight

Why do we delay to go to a doctor?
• Fear
• Ignorance
• Complacency
• Stigmatization

We urge each individual to take control of factors that can possibly prevent cancer – Together WE CAN, I CAN, NAMIBIA CAN BEAT CANCER!