Going pink for cancer

28 October 2021 | Events

Pink Day in support of breast cancer awareness was commemorated today, with the Cancer Association’s chief executive Rolf Hansen saying that they started this year’s movement at the beginning of October and launched the 21st Annual Bank Windhoek Cancer Apple Project thereafter with the message of “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants”.
“The phrase is a metaphor which means ‘Using the understanding gained by others who have gone before us, in order to make progress for us right now, and so we influence the future for the better’,” he said.
“My question on the first of October was, ‘what footsteps do we leave for those who come after us?’ So that one day they may also say ‘those were our parents, our giants, the ones who paved the way for us, the ones who made it better for us.”
He said that GLOBOCAN 2020 estimates that worldwide around 19.3 million new cancer cases (18.1 million excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) and almost 10.0 million cancer deaths (9.9 million excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) occurred last year.
“Female breast cancer has surpassed lung cancer as the most diagnosed cancer, with an estimated 2.3 million new cases (11.7%), followed by lung (11.4%), colorectal (10.0 %), prostate (7.3%), and stomach (5.6%) cancers,” he said.
He added that lung cancer remained the leading cause of global cancer deaths, with an estimated 1.8 million deaths (18%), followed by colorectal (9.4%), liver (8.3%), stomach (7.7%), and female breast (6.9%) cancers.

Cases on the rise
“Overall incidence was from 2-fold to 3-fold higher in transitioned versus transitioning countries for both sexes. Death rates for female breast and cervical cancers, however were considerably higher in developing versus developed countries.”
Hansen said that currently, Namibia sees annual average of 3 780 new cancer cases per year, which is an increase of 7% per annum over the last 5 years. “We continue to experience an annual increase in especially women's cancers (breast, cervical and lymphoma) and currently, more than 54% of all Namibian cancers are reported in women.”
However, he reiterated that if we work together, lives can be saved.
“When we use the knowledge and techniques around us, we do not try to invent the wheel of differentiation and change, nor do we even need to reinvent it. We merely need to look from success stories around us, and adapt that wheel to our environment and conditions, and we can save lives!”
He said that CAN’s National Cancer Outreach Programme supported by project partners and the Namibian public allows CAN to fuel their engine and roll out wheels of hope throughout the country to visit rural points and screen for cancer complimentary, even hosting community clinics at a minimal N$100 donation, while CAN subsidizes the difference – all to bring quality screening and support services to the nation.
“As an organisation, we cannot be everywhere all the time, so we take hands with the Ministry of Health and Social Services, training and capacitating their teams, to carry on jointly, where we cannot be. We are thankful for programmes like the US Embassy and USAID in Namibia who have invested in Cervical Screen and Treat programmes, to help save lives.”
At this morning’s event, CAN officially concluded two days of free screenings of 300 women.
“We ask that you help us keep the wheel of progress moving in the right direction. I ask you, to keep on supporting hope, so that we can use the knowledge gained already, become more effective and impacting in our communities, so that we build on a future where Cancer is no longer seen as a plague or stigmatized as a death sentence, but a treatable and survivable medical condition.”

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