In response to the growing breast c****r burden in Kenya, leading global biopharmaceutical company, Pfizer, has emphasized the need for early detection in the management of the d*****e.
According to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on C****r, Global C****r Observatory (GLOBOCAN), Breast C****r is the leading type of c****r incidence in Kenya, accounting for 16.1% of all cancers and is the second leading cause of d****s in the country.
“At Pfizer, we have a long history in oncology research and development, including a pivotal role in scientific breakthroughs and revolutionary medicines that will create a healthier world for everyone,” said Dr Kodjo Soroh, Medical Director East & Anglo West Africa at Pfizer. “Our current focus remains on innovating and improving oncology therapies to potentially cure non-communicable d******s like c****r.”
The advantages of early detection of c****r cannot be overemphasized, Dr Soroh said, adding countries should step up efforts to drive regular medical check-ups to facilitate early detection.
Data from the Kenya National C****r Registry 2014-2019 shows that 7 out of 10 cancers are diagnosed at advanced stages. Early detection, timely diagnosis and effective treatment of early-stage tumours are the cornerstone of breast c****r control to improve survival rates.
Additionally, only 14% of women in Kenya have had a clinical breast examination and 25% have performed a self-breast examination, according to 2014 Kenya Demographic Health Survey1.
“Unless urgent action is taken to improve breast c****r screening and early diagnosis, breast c****r will compound Kenya’s d*****e burden, increase poverty and gender inequalities as well as reverse current gains against maternal mortality,” Dr Angela McLigeyo, a Medical Oncologist, said during a media roundtable hosted by Pfizer in Kenya.
The National C****r Treatment Protocols 2019 recommend that all women found to have suspicious breast lesions should undergo a triple assessment that involves clinical examination preferably by an experienced clinician or breast surgeon, bilateral breast imaging and Core biopsy.
“In breast c****r diagnosis, timeliness of the service to avoid excessive delay, availability of diagnostic imaging studies of the breast and axilla, staging studies to detect metastatic d*****e and tissue sampling methods are important,” Dr Njoki Njiraini, a clinical radiation oncologist said.
The Government of Kenya has developed a Breast C****r Screening and Early Diagnosis Action Plan 2021-2025 aimed at ensuring that women with breast c****r are diagnosed in early stages. The action plan will be achieved through specific mechanisms to improve uptake of mammography screening in the eligible populations, ensuring that at least 90% of symptomatic women are linked to timely further evaluation and management within 60 days from their first encounter with a healthcare worker.