"Breast cancer accounts for over 3,107 deaths making it the 2nd leading cause of all cancer deaths in the country. 7 women die every day in Kenya as a result of breast cancer," the Ministry of Health said in a statement.
The ministry of health has disclosed that breast cancer is the leading type of cancer in Kenya with an estimated 6,799 cases annually, contributing to 12.5 percent of the overall cancer burden. In addition, it accounts for over 3,107 deaths, with about 7 women succumbing to the disease every day.
“Breast cancer accounts for over 3,107 deaths making it the 2nd leading cause of all cancer deaths in the country. 7 women die every day in Kenya as a result of breast cancer,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement.
A report by the World Health Organization (WHO) positions cancer as a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020. During the year, breast cancer maintained the highest number of cases, with 2.26 million people testing positive for the disease. In addition, 685 000 deaths linked to the disease were reported.
WHO explained that certain factors increase the risk of breast cancer including increasing age, obesity, harmful use of alcohol, family history of breast cancer, history of radiation exposure, tobacco use, and postmenopausal hormone.
Women account for the highest number of breast cancer, with approximately 0.5-1 percent of the disease occurring in men.
The most common sign of breast cancer is a painless lump in the breast. Others include breast alteration in size, shape, or appearance, dimpling or redness in the skin, change in nipple appearance, and abnormal nipple discharge. Health practitioners advise that upon noticing a lump on the breast, one should seek medical attention without a delay of more than 1-2 months
According to WHO, the treatment for the disease can be highly effective, achieving survival probabilities of 90 percent or higher, particularly when the disease is identified early. A 2021 report by the World Bank stated that most cancer cases in Kenya are diagnosed at an advanced stage when treatment options are limited.
Early detection and treatment have proven successful in high-income countries and should be applied in countries with limited resources where some of the standard tools are available.