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Colorectal cancer becoming another public health problem in Malawi

Latest studies by the World Health Organization (WHO) have revealed that colorectal cancer (CRC) claimed 234 lives of productive Malawians 2020 alone effectively becoming another pandemic on the go to the country.

This represents 0.24 percent of total deaths the country registered in 2020. CRC (also known as bowel cancer) is the third most common cancer worldwide and it is the third most common cancer in men and the second most common cancer in women.

In 2020, there were more than 1.9 million new cases of colorectal cancer.

Ironically, as findings of the studies indicate, there are low efforts and progress in CRC standard and qualitative care evidence-based early diagnosis and treatment, primary prevention of modifiable risk factors and implementation of secondary prevention modality in Malawi.

Some of the people who attended the CRC awareness in Lilongwe

The development has worried Women’s Coalition Against Cancer (WOCACA) whose Executive Director Maud Mwakasungula challenged journalists to take a leading role in creating awareness on the disease.

Mwakasungula made the sentiments in Lilongwe on Friday when Malawi joined the Global Colon Cancer Association, colorectal cancer survivors, caregivers, health advocates in Blue Hat Bow Tie for CRC awareness to communities around the world.

Mwakasungula observed that there is lack of awareness on the disease and, as a result, many people are suffering.

“Evidence shows that there is fast rising burden of colorectal cancer due to increased prevalence of modifiable risk factors such as smoking, alcohol, unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle just to name a few. It is important for people to seek medical attention for further investigations when presented with signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer as early detection saves lives. She also urged people who have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer to adhere to treatment for better health outcomes,” she said.

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