33,000 die of cancer every year

Close to 33,000 people succumb to cancer every year, parliament has been told.

A shocking report on cancer prevalence in the country has listed Esophagus cancer as a top killer, causing at least 4,351 deaths every year.

Of 4,380 people diagnosed with the disease annually, only 29 survive.

The report by National Cancer Institute of Kenya (NCI-K) shows that new cases of cancer have increased from 41,000 to at least 47,887 cases annually.

Of this, 32,987 succumb every year, an increase from 28,500 deaths recorded previously.

The report put cancer at position three cause of death in the country after infectious disease and cardiovascular diseases.

Appearing before National Assembly’s Health Committee chaired by Sabina Chege NCI Acting Chief Executive Officer Alfred Karagu said breast and Cervical cancer ranks high in new cancer infections.

The institute mandated with tackling all activities related to cancer prevention tabled the report at the backdrop of revelation that it was operating without an office and had less staff.

MPs were told that NCI has a staff requirement of about 100, but was currently having only six officers. There are also only 35 oncologists in the country. This has frustrated efforts to carry out adequate awareness as part of prevention measures.

The institute has named 11 counties; Nairobi, Kisumu, Meru, Mombasa, Kakamega, Kiambu, Nyeri, Nakuru, Bomet, Embu and Eldoret as having been affected by the leading three cancers including Prostate, Esophagus and Colorectal cancer.

The report puts Kisumu, Kakamega and Central region of Meru and Nyeri as having the highest cases of esophagus cancer.

In Nairobi county, 32 men out of 100,000 suffers from prostate cancer while in women, breast cancer leads with 37.4 women in every 100,000 people.