As the international community marked the World Cancer Day, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Lift Above Poverty Organisation (LAPO), has taken the campaign on cancer prevention and early detection to communities in Lagos.
Every February 4 is set aside for raising awareness and getting more people involved in conquering the disease. The campaign is led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), specifically to inspire action.
LAPO used the global awareness month to call for collaborative efforts in winning the war against the disease, which has claimed many lives, including the rich and the poor.
At Iyana-Iba Market, with drumming and singing, traders were tutored on the cancer scourge, with particular emphasis on early detection. Members of the LAPO health team took their time to explain the various types of cancer, how to prevent them and the appropriate treatment for those who are already down with the ailment.
The regional manager of the organisation, Mrs. Vivian O. Evbotokhai, said early detection of all forms of cancer was one of the fastest ways to save lives and avoid complications.
While she pointed out that cancer is no respecter of man, woman or children, she expressed optimism that a lot could be achieved through a healthy partnership with all stakeholders, especially health care providers, government and international agencies.
She advised the audience at the market and its environs to always go for routine checkups, stressing that a stitch in time saves nine.
The NGO’s team also visited the Ile-Epo Market in Agbado Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) to engage the traders and residents of the area on how to avoid and overcome the dreaded disease.
Evbotokhai renewed LAPO’s commitment to empowering the poor and the vulnerable by using innovative approaches to provide financial, health and social services to the needy in a sustainable manner.
“Cancer can affect any part of the body. If the symptoms are not detected early, they easily spread and become very difficult and more expensive to treat. Cancer is not a death sentence. This is why our focus is on prevention by advocating living a healthy lifestyle, as well as early detection. When detected early, the chances of survival is as high as 100 per cent.
“The theme of this year celebration is “I Will and I Can”. It is to further encourage everybody to join in the fight against cancer as everyone has a role to play to reduce the devastating effects.
“The three most common cancers are that of breast, cervical and prostate. There are also blood, bone and many other types of cancers. This is necessary because our experience over the years have shown that many people perish out of ignorance,” she said.
The sensitisation was done in both English and Yoruba languages, while over 1, 000 fliers were distributed to the people.