DEVITEM, Anambra State Library, Majorie Bash Mark 2021 World Cancer Day

By Izunna OkaforĀ 
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The need to eat more of natural and organic food as a way of boosting one's immune system and minimizing risk of cancer has been emphasized.

The Chief Medical Director and CEO, Crescent Diagnostics, Dr. Emeka Ezeazu made the call at a one-day event organized to mark the 2021 World Cancer Day.

The event which held at Onitsha Divisional Library, Onitsha, Anambra State, was organized by a non-governmental organisation, Developmental Initiative for Technology and Empowerment (DEVITEM), in collaboration with Anambra State Library Board and Majorie Bash Foundation.

Delivering a lecture at the event, Dr. Emeka Ezeazu simply defined Cancer as an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body, and revealed that anyone can suffer cancer, irrespective of gender, age, race or social status.

While highlighting the various types of cancer to include cervical cancer, prostrate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, liver cancer, endometrial cancer, pancreatic cancer, among others; Dr. Ezeazu who noted that cancer can occur on any part of the body, further enumerated some of the things that can expose one to cancer, to include excessive intake of alcohol, excess sugar, active or passive smoking, inhaling of dangerous chemicals or substances, among other direct and indirect causes.

According to him, there are specific symptoms for various types of cancer; however there are some general and common symptoms which include fatigue, weight loss, pain, skin changes, change in bowel or bladder function, unusual bleeding, persistent cough or voice change, fever, lumps, or tissue masses.

Urging people to always exam their body system each time they observe some unusual signs or symptoms, the health professional said, "What we eat is very important, and therefore, we should be mindful of our intakes. That is why people in the village do not suffer most these diseases. Eat more of natural and organic foods, and avoid excessive alcohol; avoid active or passive smoking, excessive sugar intake and other inorganic or canned foods."

Speaking at the event, the convener of the program and Project Coordinator at the Development Initiative for Technology and Empowerment, Mrs. Ngozi Osuchukwu said the event was aimed at creating awareness on the existence of cancer as a disease, giving people detailed and comprehensive information about the dangerous disease, as well as providing them with practical health tips and measures for reducing and curtailing the ravaging effects of the disease.

Describing the theme of the 2021 World Cancer Day —"I Am and I Will" (which has been the theme running since 2019 and will end this year) — as a personal charge for everyone to join in the fight against cancer through self caring and awareness creation; Mrs. Osuchukwu who is also Librarian, called on everyone to go for regular medical screening to ascertain the status of their health and body system, as early detection of disease makes its curing very much easier and faster.

Earlier in her speech, the Director, Anambra State Library Board, Dr. Nkechi Udeze who noted that time has passed when public library is known just as a place of reading, revealed that the state's public library now takes active parts in awareness creation and information dissemination, being the reason it currently observes and marks many international days that are pivotal to its roles, including the World Cancer Day.

While advising the participants to take home and put into practice all they learnt at the event, she also charged them to help spread the message through awareness creation and by educating others in their various areas and localities, so as to be instrumental and contributory in achieving the objective behind the World Cancer Day.

On her own part, the Divisional Librarian, Onitsha Divisional Library, Mrs Enemuo Sopuluchukwu described this year's event as a memorable one and the best so far, owing to its features and lecture.

She appreciated DEVITEM, Anambra State Library Board, Majorie Bash Foundation and Crescent Diagnostics for 'giving' their best towards the success of the event, while also urging the participants to play their own parts in the fight against cancer by putting all they were taught into good use.

The well-attended outdoor-cum-indoor event kick-started with fun-filled aerobics and featured a consummate lecture on cancer, questions and answers section, as well as announcement of free cancer test slots for 20 participants (10 males and 10 females) at the Crescent Diagnostics, by the CMD/CEO, Dr. Ezeazu.

The participants were also treated to a sumptuous and scrumptious fruit diet meal and succulent nuts, making the event specially organic and memorable indeed.

Marked annually on 4th February, World Cancer Day originated in 2000 at the first World Summit Against Cancer, which was held in Paris, and aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about cancer, and pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action against the disease.