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The cancer challenge

Feb 06,2019 - Last updated at Feb 06,2019

On the occasion of the World Cancer Day that fell on February 4, HRH Princess Ghida Talal, the chairperson of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation, seized upon the solemn occasion to issue a warning and an appeal, aiming to raise awareness about the disease and called on “cancer patients and survivors, doctors and researchers, and communities around the world, to fight side by side to create a future without cancer”.

Princess Ghida mentioned the need for a healthy lifestyle to combat cancer in all its forms and encouraged early detection and treatment of the major health hazard that killed 9.6 million in 2018, worldwide. The World Health Organisation has described cancer as among the leading causes of mortality worldwide, but few nations and peoples are listening! 

Despite all the appeals, the campaigns against it and the discovery of new medicines for its treatment, cancer continues to take a heavy toll on human life here in Jordan, and elsewhere in the world. Here in Jordan, the number of deaths due to cancer remains staggering, and what is worse is that the number of people suffering from it is on the increase rather than on the decrease.

This means that whatever we in Jordan, as, indeed, elsewhere in the world, are doing to prevent and treat cancer, it is simply not working because people everywhere are simply ignoring the advice of the professionals. Researchers and specialised medical doctors continue to remind people everywhere that they urgently need to change their lifestyle, by eating healthy food free of carcinogens, drink clean water and protect the environment as the only way to protect themselves from the disease.

The essence of problem, therefore, lies in the fact that people continue to ignore what specialists call on them to do. In fact, for the most of the population, they do exactly the opposite! Many people in Jordan, young and old,  continue to smoke in private and public places, eat the wrong food and drink sugary drinks on a routine basis. No wonder we are losing the fight against cancer.

Awareness-raising campaigns need to focus on combating people's defiance of anti-smoking habits, consuming sugary drinks and eating the wrong food. In other words Jordan needs to inculcate a culture of a healthy lifestyle. This is the big challenge that we do not seem to be able to address with any measure of success.

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