The World Cancer Day (WCD) was observed for the first time in Kanglung, Trashigang yesterday.
This year’s theme for WCD is World cancer walk and slogan: “I walk so that no one walks their cancer journey alone.”
Sherubtse United Nations Club (SUNC) members organised an awareness campaign in the locality to encourage open discussion about cancer and to promote early screening of cancer such as pap-smear test.
According to cancer incidence and mortality in Bhutan 2014-2018 report, 2,744 cancer cases were detected, out of which 1,205 are male and 1,539 female. With 36 cases, Trashigang had the highest cancer incidences of cervical cancer.
The club posted a video message about cancer on its Facebook page. The students also displayed posters around the town.
Staff Moderator of the unit, Lobzang Dorji said that he wanted to encourage individuals to go for early screening of cancer.
The club members also encouraged fellow students to participate in #40SCWC, a social media challenge initiated by Bhutan Cancer Society to reach out to a wider audience.
The challenge was initiated on January 10 to encourage screening and early detection, and to improve the quality of lives of cancer patients and their family.
President of the club, Puran Gurung said that the challenge was an example for WCD with its theme of individual action could have a greater impact of defining Bhutan’s potential approach in decreasing the impact of cancer.
A club member Sonam Wangchen said that as cervical cases which were preventable with early detection was more in Trashigang the club wanted to campaign in the locality to encourage early detection.
“Most people don’t seek treatment unless it becomes severe. Through this campaign we hope many people turn up for cancer screening,” Sonam Wangchen said.
The cancer report also stated cancer deaths are attributed to the advanced stage at diagnosis. Stomach cancer is the most common cancer among Bhutanese followed by cervical cancer. Stomach cancer is the leading cause of death in the country.
A student, Wangchuk Dema said that by starting an open discussion on cancer and screening, the campaign could save many lives.