1. Cancer is a condition in which there is an abnormal growth in the cells of a tissue or organ.
2. Cancers are malignant, that is, they have a propensity to spread from the site of origin to any other parts of the body
3. Cancer is no respecter of age, sex, or socioeconomic status4. Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide.
The most common cancers in men worldwide are lung, liver, stomach, colorectal and prostate cancers while women are breast, lung, colorectal, cervical and stomach cancers.
However, statistics in Nigeria have shown that for men, prostate, liver, blood, colorectal and mouth/oropharynx are the top 5 cancers in Nigeria while breast, cervix, liver, blood and colorectal cancers are those for women.
5. Cancers are associated with certain risk factors but cigarette smoking, alcohol, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity are the four main risk factors associated with most cancers
6. Some signs should alert you. This could be a lump or swelling in any part of your body or abnormal bleeding or progressive weight loss. These should prompt a quick visit to your doctor
7. Cancer burden can be reduced by avoiding risk factors, immunization against infections causing cancer such as Hepatitis B infection, Human Papilloma Virus infection, avoiding exposure to radiation.
8. Also, early detection and treatment help to deter the progress of cancers thus, tackling the problem early before it becomes recalcitrant.
Early detection can be achieved through screening.
Screening helps to identify individuals who are at risk of developing cancers and have them monitored and treated early.
Examples of screening tests include; mammography for breast cancers, Human Papillomavirus testing and PAP smear for cervical cancer, faecal occult blood for colorectal cancer.
9. Treatment of cancers is multidisciplinary and in different stages including surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy. It is important to note that the response to treatment vary with the type of cancer involved.
10. Palliative care is also offered but it is worthy of note that palliative care is a treatment to relieve of pain or discomfort rather than cure. This could range from physical to psychosocial to spiritual and this help to improve the quality of life of patients