BY DOREEN KAJERU
This Easter semester, the Health Awareness Week (HAW) was spearheaded by Save the Mothers Department under the theme “Safe Motherhood and You.”
It involved several activities such as counselling, sensitization, blood donation, community service and most outstandingly, cancer screening.
Cancer is a common, non-communicable disease that manifests in a number of ways. It affects all age groups, and both genders. Some of the types of cancer include lung, thyroid, kidney, prostate, cervical and breast cancer, among others.
During the week, there was screening at the Alan Galpin Centre for three types of cancer, that is, prostate, cervical and breast cancer.
A total of 116 women were screened for breast and cervical cancer and 23 men for prostate. Four women were referred for further investigation.
Dr. Geoffrey Rwabaingi Mulindwa, the director of Medical Services at the Alan Galpin Centre, said that those with positive test results were then recommended for further tests and diagnosis to rule out or confirm the presence of cancer. “We do not want people to be told that they have cancer at advanced stages,” he said.
Mulindwa added that the increased prevalence of cancer is as a result of change in lifestyle, low or poor awareness and lack of early screening opportunities. Unlike staff, sensitization among the student community is still a challenge because of the lack of a general communication platform.
Cancer just like any other disease condition can be cured and controlled if detected at an early stage. Radiotherapy and other control measures can be adapted to help curb the spread of cancer all over the body.
Dr Mulindwa encouraged people to have healthy sexual relations and exercise regularly, at least 3o minutes daily. Quoting Daniel 1: 12-16, he advised the community to eat healthy and include fruits and vegetables in their diet.”
Immunization of young girls against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) can also be done to prevent the contraction of cervical cancer. When this is done, the prevalence of the condition can be controlled.
Dr. Mulindwa advised the community always to seek medical advice about body changes or conditions like the constant headaches because in most cases they are symptoms of a disease.