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Dr. Mutua: Prevention and early detection crucial in cancer battle

 A linear accelerator, used in cancer therapy, delivers high-energy X-rays or electrons to treat tumors.[Standard, File]

On June 2, 2024, Kenyans joined the global community in commemorating World Cancer Survivors Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the resilience of those who have triumphed over cancer.

The observance underscores the collective efforts to combat the disease and highlights the importance of supporting survivors.

The day resonates within communities across the country and beyond, given the potential to save millions of lives annually through effective prevention, early detection, and quality treatment strategies.

“Cancer survivorship embodies a spectrum of experiences, from the initial diagnosis to life after treatment or years of being cancer-free,” says Dr. Solomon Mutua, a Medical Oncologist at The Nairobi West Hospital.

 “Every cancer journey is unique, and providing the right care at the right time is crucial.”

The hospital hosted a cancer survivor’s forum on the same day, offering survivors a platform to share their stories and the support they received.

The National Cancer Institute of Kenya underscores the potential to save at least 3.7 million lives annually through effective prevention and early detection efforts.

According to the institute, routine screenings are essential for detecting pre-cancerous conditions or diagnosing cancer at its most treatable stage.

Mutua says the Nairobi West Hospital continues to advance in cancer diagnosis and treatment.

“We recently introduced a cutting-edge digital AI-enabled PET Scan with 160 SLICE CT, now covered by NHIF, to enhance diagnostic precision. Their comprehensive NHIF Oncology Package includes evaluation and diagnostic testing with PET CT Scan,” he notes.

 “The end of cancer treatment often brings relief, but it also brings new challenges like uncertainty about the future and fear of recurrence.”

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