Saturday 4 March 2023

Walk and Run Against Cancer

Shades of Us at the Walk and Run Against Cancer Event Hosted by Women in ICT to Commemorate World Cancer Day

Cancer is a group of diseases characterised by the uncontrolled growth and spread of abnormal cells. There are many different types of cancer, each with its own unique causes, symptoms, and treatments. Women suffer various types of cancer. 

Shades of Us is committed to sharing stories about survivors of cancer and working with organizations addressing communication around preventing cancer.

On February 4, 2023, Shades of Us partnered with the Women In ICT Foundation on their Walk and Run World Cancer Day event which happened at the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs complex. The Nigerian Cancer Society, Alex and Grace Foundation, Security Health Education (SHE) Campaign, Nigerian Television Authority, National Identity Management Commission and hundreds of volunteers attended the event. 

Participants at the Walk and Run World Cancer Day Event

To begin the event, participants shared their understanding of cancer and the importance of early detection. Early detection involves going for check ups when symptoms are present. Medical check-ups should be once in three or six months, or at the very least, once in a year. Early detection of cancer is crucial to increasing the chances of successful treatment and survival. Many forms of cancer can be effectively treated when caught early, so it is essential that individuals are aware of the signs and symptoms of cancer and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Self examination is important as well. Some cancers are peculiar to women: ovarian cancer and cervical cancer, the latter of which is preventable through the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and can be taken in early years. Like with most illnesses, preventive measures are advisable. 

The welcome address was given by the President of the Women in ICT Foundation Kemisola Bolarinwa, as represented by Ambassador Ohanime. Fun fact about Kemisola: she invented the first smart bra that improves cancer detection in women.

Opening remarks were given by Dame Pauline Tallen, the Honorable Minister of Women Affairs. She urged everyone to continue to raise awareness on the care gap, appreciating the Women In ICT Foundation for bridging the gap. “Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide, with 9.6 million people dead. Up to 70% of these deaths occur in developing countries because of the lack of awareness to detect cancer. Cancer is a devastating disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a complex and often misunderstood illness that can impact all aspects of an individual’s life, including their physical and emotional well-being. Raising awareness for cancer is an important step towards improving the lives of those affected by the disease and increasing the chances of early detection and successful treatment. Findings have revealed that cervical cancer is preventable if young girls of 6 to 15 are given the HPV vaccine. Education is paramount to ensure its reduction. Managing the scourge should be the target as the timely information can save millions of lives.” She encouraged the participants to speak to young girls on STEM - accessing education in science, pursuing career paths and research.

Dame Pauline Tallen (Honorable Minister of Women Affairs), Kemisola Bolarinwa, and other participants at the Walk and Run World Cancer Day Event

Participants then took the awareness walk from the Ministry of Women Affairs, through the Federal Secretariat, to Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent in Wuse 2, and ended at the Unity Fountain. This was to promote awareness among members of the public in these neighborhoods. 

Raising awareness for cancer is an ongoing effort that requires the collaboration of individuals, organisations, and communities. This can be done through education and outreach programs, fundraising events, and community support networks. By increasing public understanding of cancer, we can help to break down the stigma surrounding the disease and encourage individuals to seek the care and support they need.

Cancer is a serious and often misunderstood illness that affects millions of people worldwide. By raising awareness and promoting early detection, we can help to improve the lives of those affected by the disease and increase the chances of successful treatment.

Cross-Section of Participants at the Walk and Run World Cancer Day Event

Check out more about the Walk and Run World Cancer Day event in this web page and video.

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