In observing World Cancer Day tomorrow, President Paula-Mae Weekes has said the day’s theme, “I am and I will”, is a “clarion call” for greater personal responsibility and said “you are therefore the ultimate advocate for your health.”
Weekes issued a statement to media in observance of the day.
Her address said cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide and that includes TT, the Caribbean and the rest of the world. “One in six people die from cancer every year and in 2018, over 9.6 million deaths were attributed to this deadly disease,” the release said.
Cancer, Weekes’ address added, robbed “countless households and communities” of loved ones which left a “heavy physical, emotional and financial toll.”
The disease is often diagnosed in its late stages which “severely reduced options for treatment and possibilities for recovery.”
The day, she said, provided a platform for raising awareness about cancer prevention, detection and care.
With medical progress and innovation, a cancer prognoses is now “far less grim.”
“There are now several avenues for treatment and even more importantly, prevention. Every citizen must recognise the importance of being proactive as one third of cancer cases are avoidable with the adoption of healthy lifestyles and yet another third is curable with early detection and treatment,” the release said.
Weekes encouraged citizens to take action by championing a healthy lifestyle in their families, going for regular check-ups and screenings and participating in awareness campaigns.
It added that every citizen has a part to play and called on TT to commit “to reversing the trend and diminishing the burden that is cancer.”