Speaking at the World Cancer Day event held at Galo Centre in Francistown on Monday, under the theme "Dispel the myths and misconceptions about Cancer", Mbangtang said in the 2003-2011 period, BNCR registered 14,668 cases of people who have been affected by cancer, 48 percent who are single. "Single people are then followed by married couples who numbered 3,917, the widowed stood at 747 people and 139 divorcees. Those who are separated comprise 1 percent while co-habiting couples less than a percent," he explained. He further said that there are 15 different cancers which affect people and these include skin cancer, at an infection rate of 23 percent, cervical cancer at 14 percent, breast cancer with nine percent, cancer of the oesophagus with six percent, eye cancer with four percent, followed by lymph nodes, liver, blood, bronchus, prostate, mouth with three percent.
"According to the BNCR, females have the highest rate of cancer with 8,056 victims as compared to males with a rate of 6,612 and they are both affected by the 15 cancers," said Mbangtang."As for children they are most affected by 10 cancers; namely blood cancer at 16 percent, skin cancer at 15 percent and lymph nodes at 11 percent,"he said. He furthered said that in the period between 1998 and 2011 a vast number of treatments were given to 14,668 people and treatments included surgical, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormononal, palliatiative and anti-retrovirals.
"In 2007 most people in Botswana died due from cancer and it is because most of these cases are not reported so that the right treatment can be ascribed to the affected people," he said.He encouraged people to report cancer cases and go for regular medical check ups so that they can receive treatment where necessary. When giving a speech, Cancer Association of Botswana (CAB) chairperson Thebe Baile said that according to Globocan, 7.6 million people die from cancer worldwide annually, 4 million of who die prematurely between the ages 30 and 69. "The promotion of healthy living is the key to our fight in preventing the estimated 1.5 million lives lost per year which is the World Health Organisation's target. "The burden of cancer as one of the major non-communicable diseases poses immense suffering to patients, their relatives and friends and this creates an economic impact on all sectors," he noted. He further said that due to the rising impact of cancer in our community, BNCR under the Ministry of Health, health facilities and other stakeholders such as CAB have collaborated in efforts to facilitate surveillance, prevention as well as control of the disease; and to promote the research to increase knowledge on the causes, diagnosis, management, natural course of the disease, treatment outcomes and rehabilitative measures.He added that cancer management services are available at different levels in health facilities. He encouraged everyone to play an active role in taking care of their health by utilising existing health facilities and going for regular check-ups.