By Angel Mutai
In a heartfelt effort to advance early detection and treatment of breast cancer, the Cancer Centre at the Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital organized a free breast cancer screening event.
The event held last Friday, aimed at educating and screening for breast cancer and sought to promote immediate treatment upon detection.
Speaking during the event, Lucy Njoki, a renowned cancer specialist, underscored the importance of early breast cancer screenings.
"Breast cancer is a leading global concern. When we detect cancer at stage one or two, it significantly facilitates treatment, increasing the chances of survival," she said.
Njoki expressed concern about low turnout, stating that approximately 250 participants, both men and women, showed up for screening.
She, however, pledged to enhance awareness and outreach efforts in the coming year to encourage a larger turnout.
Njoki noted that the Cancer Centre's mission goes beyond breast cancer screening, adding that the team is also dedicated to raising awareness about various health issues, including diabetes, hypertension, HIV, prostate cancer, and cervical cancer.
"Cancer is a lifestyle disease, and screenings for these conditions are essential for all Kenyans," she stated.
Aisha Dakala, a dedicated blood donor and Good Will Ambassador for cancer awareness, underscored the importance of blood donations for cancer patients.
"Cancer patients often require blood or blood components like plasma or platelets before undergoing critical procedures," she explained.
Dakala was appointed the Good Will Ambassador for cancer awareness in 2023, and she utilizes various platforms, including radio, TV, events, and public gatherings, to raise awareness and promote early cancer screenings.
Dakala urged both men and women to take breast cancer seriously and to go for regular screenings.
She also called upon family members of cancer patients to take the lead in blood donation efforts, as it plays a vital role in the treatment process.
One attendee, Dollie, shared her perspective, saying, "Your health is your wealth, a truth often overlooked. Regular health screenings are essential, and neglecting symptoms can have severe consequences."
She emphasized the significance of early health assessments and the potential harm of ignoring warning signs.
"One may notice symptoms and disregard them, but with time, they may find themselves in an advanced stage of cancer that could have been prevented through screenings," Dollie added.
Dollie further stated that such screenings are essential for individuals to evaluate their health and take timely action.
Her sentiments echo the collective message of the event, underlining the importance of early detection, awareness, and community support in the fight against cancer in Kenya.