Breast cancer figures lead in country’s count, new ministry data shows

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 00:00 |
Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman at a press conference. Photo/PD/KENNA CLAUDE

Breast cancer strain leads  in the country, accounting for 5,900 cases annually, Ministry of Health (MoH) has said.

Health CAS Rashid Aman said breast cancer accounts for12.5 percent of all cancers in the country and 20.9 percent among women.

“Cancer is the third leading cause of death in the country after infectious and cardiovascular diseases with an annual incidence of over 47,000 cases and 32,000 deaths annually,” said Aman.

Speaking during the launch of the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2020 at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), Aman expressed concern early detection awareness and screening services of breast cancer remain low.

“Only 25 percent of women aged 15-49 years, have performed a self-breast examination (SBE) with 14 percent have had a clinical breast examination,” he said.

Aman said as an emerging economy, Kenya is experiencing an epidemiological transition where for a long time; the greatest health burden has been infectious or communicable diseases.

To respond to these challenges, the Ministry has in the recent past made strategic investments to strengthen cancer prevention, treatment and management in public hospitals across the country including National Referral Hospitals.

“Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital is a cancer centre of excellence.

In particular, the ongoing establishment of molecular imaging centre will enable cancer patients access affordable, high quality services such as PET scans without having to travel outside the country,” he said.

Meanwhile, Aman urged health care workers to resume screening activities while observing Covid-19 prevention measures.

During the launch, Aman in the daily Covid-19 briefing said the country recorded 318 new cases in the last 24 hours from a sample of 2,592 tests with cumulative tests standing at 595,791 positive cases. Ten Covid-19 patients died bringing total deaths to 787. 

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