Early screening emphasized as a sure way to lessen cancer related deaths


Rwandans are called upon to screen for different cancers at least once a year to ensure the epidemic is arrested during its early stages. Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) and Rwanda Ministry of Health, emphasize that the survival rate of patients diagnosed with cancers is appallingly low in the developing worlds including Rwanda because people are diagnosed at very advanced stages.

“Some of the symptoms and signs like those for breast cancer can be screened from home. We encourage women to adopt and practice monthly breast self-examination, the easiest strategy for early detection of breast cancer, “advises Dr. Diane Gashumba, Minister of Health.

Maimuna Kemirembe, a breast cancer survivor also insists that early detection possibly means cure for cancer.

“It’s possible for cancer to cure completely if it is detected early and treated, I am a living example for surviving breast cancer,” says Maimuna.

Other reasons blamed for cancer deaths include; poor life style without a routine exercising plan, tobacco inhalation and excessive alcohol consumption.

All the above remarks were made as Rwanda joined the world to commemorate annual World Cancer Day on February 4 2017 under the theme, “We can. I can.”

The objectives behind celebrating World Cancer day in Rwanda included; raising public awareness on different Cancers by providing awareness messages to the general population on cancers, increasing health seeking behavior aiming at improving early detection, diagnosis and management  and supporting cancers’ survivors and their families to have better quality of life.

World Cancer Day is part of the World Cancer Campaign, founded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to support the goals of the World Cancer Declaration. During the World Summit against Cancer, the World Health Organization from February 4, 2000 adopted this celebration day.

In Rwanda, early cancer treatment and detection still faces problems related to ignorance of the epidemic.

Globally, cancer is a leading cause of death around the world. In 2012, 14.1 million new cases of cancer were reported worldwide and this number is projected to reach 24.6 million by 2030, 8.2 million cancer deaths were recorded in 2012, and this figure is projected to rise to 13 million by 2030, when most of the deaths will occur in low-income and middle-income countries.