By Kemo Cham
Our world is already inundated with scourges of all sorts of incongruities – naturally induced
as well as manmade.
Despite highly compelling evidences of the catastrophic consequences of some of our excesses, society appear patently sightless to our moral obligations, with serious ramifications abound.
While we may not be totally accountable for troubles we do not make, ourselves, that is, naturally caused catastrophes, the same thing can’t be said for problems we amass ourselves as a result of misplaced choices.
A number of deadly diseases that today pose serious threats to our civilizations are preventable, yet we seem unable or unwilling to counter their effects. Undeniable deaths caused by cancer happen to fall under such category.
Perhaps the saddest part about the issue of cancer is that despite the fact that its deaths are preventable, it has effectively become a leading cause of deaths world wide, according to latest available information.
15 types of cancer have been identified with tobacco consumption, and all these are said to be responsible for 80 percent of lung cancer deaths. More than 5 million people die of tobacco related cancer each year. This is indeed an alarming reality! The pattern of increase in infection rate is itself even more troubling.
According to statistics, in 2008 12.4 million new cases of cancer were recorded, out of which 7.6 million deaths resulted. Two years after that, in 2010, cancer death has risen to take over as the number one cause of death in the world, according to the American Cancer Society.
Admittedly, many of these deaths can rightly be attributable to ignorance, but there are quite a number that result from pure defiance, as it were, directed largely by the powerful influence of tobacco industry interests.
February 4th, World Cancer Day, offers us the rare opportunity to reflect over these issues, with the ultimate goal of arresting its cause.
This year’s theme, ‘‘cancer prevention’’, could not have been more precise as its meaning. They say the best way to cure a disease is through prevention.
In this crusade, therefore, tobacco consumption is our greatest enemy. The sheer influence of the proponents of interests in the consumption of the substance leaves us with very limited potency. The only resource left at our disposal therefore is to show unquestionable proofs of what we are talking about; that is the reality of the effects of smoking, vis-à-vis cancer and ultimately death.
This is everybody’s call…