Byline by Elizabeth Wasunna, General Manager, AAR Healthcare Kenya
“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” This insightful quote, often attributed to various philosophers, underscores the importance of balance in our lives. It is with this idea of balance in mind that we reflect upon the prevalence of breast cancer in Kenya, where the quest for moderation in our focus on treatment and awareness takes center stage.
Breast cancer is a formidable adversary that affects both men and women, though the majority of cases are seen in women. In Kenya, like in many other parts of the world, breast cancer poses a significant health concern. Breast cancer accounts for a substantial portion of cancer cases in both men and women with one in every four cases of cancer in adults being breast cancer. While the incidence is significantly lower in men, breast cancer still comprises around 1% of all cancer cases among Kenyan men. These numbers emphasize that breast cancer is not an issue limited to one gender and should concern us all.
The statistics are not meant to be disheartening but rather to serve as a wake-up call. Early detection of breast cancer is crucial in saving lives and improving health outcomes. Research consistently shows that when breast cancer is diagnosed at an early stage, the chances of successful treatment and survival increase significantly. This is where the concept of moderation comes into play – striking a balance between vigilance and complacency in our approach to breast cancer.
At AAR Healthcare Kenya, we have been resolute in our commitment to preventative healthcare. We firmly believe that proactive measures, including regular screenings and health check-ups, play a pivotal role in reducing the burden of breast cancer and other preventable diseases. By promoting awareness, education, and access to affordable healthcare, we aim to empower individuals to take charge of their health and make informed decisions.
Preventative healthcare involves regular breast cancer screenings, which are essential for early detection. In Kenya, various organizations, including AAR Healthcare, provide free or low-cost breast cancer screenings during Breast Cancer Month and throughout the year. These screenings are instrumental in identifying potential issues in their early stages, allowing for timely intervention and treatment. By taking advantage of these opportunities, both women and men can become proactive advocates for their own health.
Breast cancer is a disease that does not discriminate. It affects individuals from all walks of life, regardless of age, gender, or socioeconomic status. This is why it is imperative for Kenyans, both women and men, to prioritize their health by attending regular screenings, practicing breast self-examinations, and learning about risk factors. Knowledge is power, and when it comes to breast cancer, knowledge can be a lifesaver.
As we observe Breast Cancer Month, let us unite in our efforts to raise awareness about breast cancer and the importance of early detection. The impact of early diagnosis cannot be overstated. According to the American Cancer Society, if breast cancer is identified in its early stages and remains localized, the 5-year relative survival rate stands at an impressive 99%. When breast cancer is detected early, it is more likely to be localized to the breast and less likely to have spread to other parts of the body. It’s not just about the statistics though; it’s about the lives, dreams, and futures of our friends, family members, and fellow Kenyans.