Cancer is not a death sentence: Hansen

Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Rolf Hansen has encouraged members of the public to not see cancer as a vulnerability or a death sentence.

Hansen in an interview with Nampa on Thursday stated that cancer patients are seen as vulnerable, stressing that the negative mindset of individuals must change, and that the thinking should change that cancer is only for women and old people.

“Screening is important to detect the disease early because in Namibia women are more affected with breast cancer while cases in men and children are on the rise. I have helped and seen families get broken because of cancer, the disease is mentally challenging and financially exhausting,” he said.

CAN supports cancer patients through various programs by assisting them financially, and giving them mental support and accommodation.

“The equipment and technology used in Namibia to perform oncology radiation treatment on patients are too old and it is a challenge we would love to partner with the Ministry of Health and social services to train registered nurses in rural areas to educate people in their vernacular languages,” he said.

Cancer survivor, Pamela Karimbue on Wednesday informed this agency that she was diagnosed with breast cancer stage 4 in January 2018 and went on chemotherapy for six months and the disease emotionally drained her.

“Being on chemotherapy was horrible for me, the side effects had the best of me but I fought through it. Besides the side effects, I struggled with losing my hair and my breast, imagine what that did to me as a Woman. We also need to educate our male partners and men in general on what breast cancer is and how to support women, who lost their breast due to breast cancer,” said Karimbue.

In 2020 Karimbue was re-diagnosed with bone cancer which was detected in her right leg, right skull and lower spine and she went back on treatment.

A Registered Nurse at CAN Aina Ngitongo said on Thursday that they received about 25 to 30 women who went for pap smears and breast cancer tests, which shows that women are serious about their health.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency