As the nation joined the Mulago Cancer Institute to celebrate a new radiation therapy machine, it is still crucial to sensitise the public about cancer.

Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells divide uncontrollably and destroy body tissue.
The disease has a number of types but the most known types are eight. They include breast cancer, prostate, basal cell, melanoma, colon, lung, leukemia and lymphoma. Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to spread to other parts of the body. These contrast with benign tumors, which do not spread to other parts of the body.

Cancer is mostly caused due to excessive consumption of tobacco, this rises the deaths to 22 per cent obesity also causes cancer to 10 per cent at least, poor diet, lack of physical activity and excessive drinking of alcohol.

Other factors include certain infections, exposure to ionising radiation and environmental pollutants. In the developing world, nearly 20 per cent of cancers are due to infections such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and human papillomavirus infection.
These factors at least act partly, by changing the genes of a cell hence cancer. These types of cancers are treated accordingly, because the type of cancer determines what kind of treatment the patient receives. Among others are radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy and targete therapy.

Many cancers, however, can be prevented by not smoking, maintaining healthy weight, not drinking too much alcohol, eating plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, vaccination against certain infectious diseases, not eating too much processed and red meat and one should avoid too much sunlight. As the world aims at reducing the rising number of patients with cancer, let us join the struggle by at least considering one or two ways of preventing this disease.

Ivan Wamono,
ivanwamono@gmail.com