The Samoan Government was highlighted on the global level with the Union for International Cancer Control (U.I.C.C.) in making a positive difference in the lives and health of their people.
This is according to the U.I.C.C. Global Cancer Control report.
“This report highlights only a handful of the many different actions from governments this World Cancer Day,” the report reads.
“On behalf of the international cancer community, we thank all the ministers, politicians and policymakers who showed leadership and used their influence and voice to support progress towards a cancer-free world,” says Global Cancer Control.
The acknowledgment is welcomed by the Samoa Cancer Society. Marketing Manager, Leilani Jackson, elaborated on the importance of cancer control.
“Most people think that cancer control only begins when someone is diagnosed with cancer. However, cancer control is more than that, much more,” she said.
“Cancer control is a continuum that looks at what causes cancer, prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment survivorship and end of life.”
“Some of these areas Samoa does well, like encouraging health behaviour, and health prevention programmes such as Nobesity Samoa, and health programmes such as ‘Eat the Rainbow’, ‘Reduce Salt’, and ‘Exercise programmes’ however it is not directly related to cancer but more so to prevent N.C.D’s.”
“This is excellent because research shows some causal association of N.C.D’s and the risk of developing cancer.”
She said Samoa is also working hard towards tightening tobacco control, which is prevention.
“We do have a fair way to go with detection and diagnosis.”
“Samoa Cancer Society’s Vave Campaign which has been running for a year is to raise awareness of signs and symptoms of breast and prostate cancer amongst other cancers and what to do accordingly.”
“Treatment in Samoa is limited to some surgical and pharmaceutical options, with O.V.T. the option of chemo-radiotherapy.”
“The old adage is always applicable in cancer ‘prevention is better than cure’.”
“Although it is true that we cannot control genetics, environmental, gene-environmental interactions, what we can determine and change, we can and we should,” said Jackson.
The report also acknowledged the efforts of U.I.C.C. members and civil society organisations who work alongside their governments, not only on this day but every day, to help create a brighter and healthier future for their nation.”
“Governments across the world have the power to make a positive difference in the lives and health of their people.”
“And in the last year of the ‘We can. I can.’ campaign, we hoped to inspire an urgent response from governments and their leaders in addressing the national and global cancer burden.”
“This report, Governments in Actions: World Cancer Day 2018, spotlights some of the government responses and actions which took place this past World Cancer Day.”
“We hope it will serve as inspiration for more governments and civil society organisations around the world to join together in creating a significant shift in reducing the 8.8 million deaths from cancer every year.”
According to the report, no less than 47 national governments chose to support World Cancer Day in 2018.
“Around the world, we witnessed a groundswell of support by leaders who chose to use their platform to shine a greater spotlight on cancer, to take action and make change happen.”
“The aim of World Cancer Day is to achieve equity in cancer care, to ensure cancer remains a national and global priority, and to ultimately save lives.”
“This annual date offers a powerful platform to achieve this through raising awareness and education, engaging governments, and inspiring individuals to take action.”
“It is also an opportunity to provoke deeper dialogue and to shine a spotlight on the most critical issues in cancer.”
“This year, nearly half a million social media mentions and more than 14,000 press mentions in more than 145countries helped to amplify the World Cancer Day message everywhere and saw the official hashtag #WorldCancerDay trend globally around the world.”
“Together, this helped ensure the day was firmly front and centre in the minds of individuals and policymakers, worldwide,” said the report.