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Healthy lifestyle cuts cancer spread: expert KCCC marks World Cancer Day

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 4: The Kuwait Cancer Control Centre (KCCC) joined the rest of the world in commemorating the World Cancer Day on Tuesday with an open day to raise cancer awareness among the public.

This year’s World Cancer Day focused on “Target 5 of the World Cancer Declaration: Reduce stigma and dispel myths about cancer,” under the tagline “Debunk the myths.” World Cancer Day aimed at raising collective voices in the name of improving general knowledge around cancer and dismissing misconceptions about the disease. “Cancer is pretty much related to healthy lifestyle. If you have a healthy lifestyle, you will reduce your chances of having cancer. So please adopt a healthy lifestyle, especially among children for their future’s sake. Avoid obesity, eat healthy diet, exercise, avoid smoking,” stated Dr Shafikha Al Awadi, Asst Professor Med, Consultant and Medical Oncologist and Head of the Breast Cancer Unit at the Kuwait Cancer Control Centre (KCCC). The open day was participated in by various cancer volunteers, non-government organisations in Kuwait such as the Cancer Aware Nation, Patients Helping Fund Society, Kuwait Women’s Cutural and Social Society, Al Sidra Association, Kuwait Filipino Mothers Organisation (KFMO) and other and charitable societies in Kuwait that have been in the forefront helping cancer patients. From a global level, the open day focused on the message on the four myths about cancer that was printed on the brochures and pamphlets and handed to the attendees.

The four myths are the following: Myth 1: We don’t need to talk about cancer; Truth: Whilst cancer can be a difficult topic to address, particularly in some cultures and settings, dealing with the disease openly can improve outcomes at an individual, community and policy level. Myth 2: There are no signs or symptoms of cancer; Truth: For many cancers, there are warning signs and symptoms and the benefits of early detection are indisputable. Myth 3: There is nothing I can do about cancer; Truth: There is a lot that can be done at an individual, community and policy level, and with the right strategies, a third of the most common cancers can be prevented. Myth 4: I don’t have the right to cancer care; Truth: All people have the right to access proven and effective cancer treatments and services on equal terms, and without suffering hardship as a consequence. “We are very delighted to be a part of this open day marking the World Cancer Day.

It is very important for people to be fully aware of cancer. Early detection is very important to decrease the risk of death,” stated Karen Webster, the Information Officer of Al Sidra Association for Psychological Care of Cancer Patients. She outlined that the Al Sidra Centre at the KCCC provides psychosocial support for women and their families who are living with cancer. She stressed on the importance of providing the accurate information and education along with emotional, social and psychological support for women with cancer at any stage of the disease. “We try our best in our own small way to help cancer patients by visiting them regularly and giving them moral support,” stated KFMO President Violeta Yousef Malana and Farida Al Halimi who are both volunteers at the Al Sidra Centre. One of the stalls also featured the colourful fruit and vegetable carving pieces of Filipino artist Romano Roman aimed at promoting healthy diet. “I’m happy to be able to share my talent in this event with a worthy cause,” quipped Roman.

By: Michelle Fe Santiago Arab Times Staff

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