Dr. Dawn Cooper Barnes, President of the Liberia Cancer Society (LCS), has called on Liberians to join the fight against cancer in order to reduce the prevalence and death rate of the disease in the country.
“Since Liberians are not getting sufficiently involved in creating awareness about the cancer disease, a large number of people die every year from cancer that is treatable,” Dr. Barnes lamented.
She said sufficient awareness on the disease can save lives, noting that, “When we all come together in the fight against cancer, we will also be educating lots of people about how to detect the disease early enough in order to reduce cancer-related deaths in the country.”
“Liberians are strong, resilient and active, therefore, we can succeed in the fight against the cancer disease if we combine our efforts,” Dr. Barnes added.
Dr. Barnes’ statement was delivered ahead of the world Cancer Day celebration scheduled for February 4.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “We can. I can,” and will continue to 2018.
The theme, she said, implies that everyone can take action to prevent cancer or reduce its death rate, challenge perceptions, create healthy environments, and improve access to cancer treatment for patients.
Dr. Barnes said more than 70 percent of cancer-related deaths occur in low and middle income countries, adding that since Liberia is of no exception, awareness about early screening and detection of the disease are important in the management or cancer prevention in Liberia.
“More lives can be saved just by educating women on how to do self-breast examination and going for early testing for cervical cancer that is even preventable when women are vaccinated.
Cancer is the abnormal growth of body tissues in the cells and can affect any part of the body. When a person develops cancer, it simply means that the cells that are normal are fast growing into abnormal ones thereby distorting the cell organs.
On prevention, Dr. Barnes wants people to be mindful of their lifestyle by watching what they eat as diet can play an important role in human well-being.
In addition, it is advisable that people avoid sitting lifestyle and exercise more in order not to attract certain kinds of cancer. Above all, she said people need to do more health assessments, and routine medical examinations.
Founded in 1977 and reactivated in 2012, LCS is committed to creating awareness and to educating the public about prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all forms of cancer.