Ukikunywa mursik utakufa: Mursik blamed for cancer cases

You may be at risk of getting cancer of the oesophagus for frequent drinking of fermented milk popularly known as”Mursik” and drinking hot tea while chewing Miraa.

The National Cancer Institute  said that Rift Valley, upper Eastern and North Eastern regions recorded the highest number of oesophageal or food pipe cancers .

Acting CEO of the National Cancer Institute Alfred Karagu,said when mursik is ingested several times daily, the repeated exposure to carcinogenic levels of ethanol may contribute to the initiation of cancer formation of the oesophagus.

“Potential risk factor associated with oesophageal cancer in a study conducted in Tenwek shows that hot beverage, and use of mursik were independently associated with esophageal cancer,” Karagu said.

Adding that, chewing of miraa and tobacco coupled with the consumption of hot tea among the northern Kenya residents causes irritation of the inner lining of the food pipe

Karagu added that the reason most patients with this type of cancer do not survive is due to the damage of the food pipe by the disease, especially if it is not detected early.

“Most patients come in late and we are not able to do much and because the cancer obstructs the food pipe, feeding for the patients becomes a problem and they succumb,” he said.

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