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Chronic illnesses have been on the rise across the world, especially cancer, diabetes and various heart diseases. Cancer deaths have been increasing steadily over five years from 11995 in 2010 to 14175 in 2015, representing an increase of 18 percent. It is expected that the annual cancer cases will rise from 14 million in 2012 to 22 million in the world within the next two decades.
Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. However, not all tumours are cancerous as some of them do not spread to other parts of the body. Possible signs and symptoms of the disease include; a lump, abnormal bleeding, prolonged cough, unexplained weight loss and a change in bowel movements.
According to a report in the ministry of health website on cancer, there are many types of cancers but leading categories in Kenya for women include lung, colorectal, breast and cervical cancer with the last two being the most common affecting 34000 and 25000 women respectively. Men on the other hand, are mainly victims of lung, stomach, colorectal, prostate and oesophageal cancers that affect 17000 and 9000 men respectively. Lately, throat cancers are becoming common in the world and in Kenya.
Cancer can be caused by tobacco which contributes to 22 percent of cancer deaths, while 10 percent could be caused by obesity, poor diet, and lack of physical activity and alcohol intake. Exposure to ionizing radiation and environment pollutants have also been found to cause cancer to some extent. But some cancers such as acute lymphoblastic leukaemia could be genetic. Cancer patient face numerous challenges which include lack of treatment and cancer facilities, lack of awareness and high cost of treatment.

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