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Let’s fight cancer together

By B.DULGUUN

Just a week ago, Mongolia observed World Cancer Day for the ninth year, to join the rest of the world in the fight against cancer.
Cancer is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Currently, 8.2 million people die from cancer every year, and more than half of them die between the ages of 30 and 60, according to the Cancer Research UK statistics. Reportedly, approximately 5,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed annually in Mongolia, and 3,000 of these cases result in death.
This is a shockingly high number considering Mongolia’s small population. Our three million people could become extinct within a century or two if the fast-spreading cancer epidemic doesn’t slow down. It’s essential to raise awareness of cancer, provide effective education about its causesat an early age, and urge the government and health organizations to take appropriate measures for cancer response and public education. Politicians often say that they are taking effective steps all the time. Yet, statistics show that their work is still not good enough.
Doctors say that the cancer mortality rate is high because most people with cancer, about 70 percent of them, are diagnosed in the late stages of cancer. As most people know, it’s almost impossible to treat cancer in its late stages. It needs to be detected early, so that doctors can take action earlier and lower a patient’s chance of dying from the cancer, but current preventive measures in Mongolia are insufficient for saving lives.
On February 4, World Cancer Day, the Ministry of Health and Sports, the National Cancer Center (NCC), and Public Health Institute organized a cancer workshop, offered free public cancer screening tests, and reported on the current situation of cancer in Mongolia and cancer projects under way. Around 30 local journalists received free health examinations and screenings on World Cancer Day, but the screenings ended after that. It’s good to do things step by step. However, the scale of national action being taken to fight cancer seems a bit too small considering that this was the ninth year of Mongolia’s participation in the international initiative. Most people found out about the event after it was reported by the media. Rather than raising awareness through these one-time events, which are done for the sake of good press coverage, hospitals and institutes should organize regular workshops and health screenings at schools and organizations, and gradually expand the scale of care and education. The public should also think of their health and the health of their children and actively cooperate in these types of measures.
Of course, not all measures go to waste. Partnering with Khan Bank, the NCC has continued a national campaign against cancer since 2011, and has organized many public awareness events in various provinces. The campaign has travelled a total distance of 50,100 km, training over 400 doctors and experts, and having 90,922 people in at-risk groups receive examinations. More than 400 people have been diagnosed at early stages and saved through treatment thanks to this program.
Mongolia celebrated World Cancer Day under the motto “I Can Do It, We Can Do It, You Can Do It Too”, and announced that there would be a nationwide focus on preventing and detecting cancer at early stages. A project will be carried out in eight to ten provinces with high morbidity rates to detect cancer early, and to prevent cancer by modifying or avoiding key risk factors, such as an unhealthy diet with low fruit and vegetable intake, tobacco and alcohol use, and the lack of physical activity.
Good initiatives from the government and active participation by the public are crucial for reducing the high cancer morbidity and mortality rates in Mongolia and around the world. We shouldn’t just wait for the government and organizations, but instead take action ourselves. Everyone can contribute to the global fight against cancer in their own way by first getting a screening for their own health, and encouraging friends and family members to get screened as well. You might save a friend or two by doing so.

 

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=18373

Posted by on Feb 8 2016. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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