Cancer a national disaster: ‘Must prominent figures die for us to talk about cancer?’

Kenyans are currently in talks on declaring cancer a national threat.

This especially since three key figures in the country have succumbed to the deadly disease in a month.

The month began with the death of Kenya’s biggest telecommunications company, Safaricom’s CEO Bob Collymore. Collymore succumbed to Acute Myeloid Leukamia. Two week later, Kibra legislator Ken Okoth was announced dead, succumbing to Colorectal Cancer. The most recent blow the country has dealt is the loss of Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso who on Monday succumbed to a battle with cancer.

The recent and very prominent cases of cancer have raised alarm in the country, increasing awareness on its high prevalence.

According to the National Cancer Institute of Kenya (NCI-K) close to 33,000 people succumb to cancer every year.

The report which was presented to parliament earlier, but has suddenly caused panic in the recent days.

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New cases of cancer have increased from 41,000 to at least 47,887 cases annually, NCI-K reports.

Cancer is the 3rd leading cause of death after infectious and cardiovascular diseases.

Breast, cervix, oesophagus, prostate and colorectum are the leading types of new cancer cases in both males and females across all ages, with oesophageal cancer being the leading cause of cancer deaths, followed by cervical cancer and then breast cancer.

Netizens, in as much as they empathise with the loss of leaders, think that declaring cancer a national disease has been long overdue.

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