By Izunna Okafor, Awka
Men have been advised to desist from smoking and to incorporate more fruits and natural foods into their diet as part of essential lifestyle changes to boost their immune system and shield them from many communicable and killer diseases.
Ijezie Amarachukwu, a health expert and Principal Pharmacy Technician at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Amaku, Awka
(COOUTH), gave the advice while speaking at the 2024 Cancer Awareness Campaign, organized by the Anambra State Library Board, in collaboration with the Agunze Chib Ikokwu Foundation.
The event, which held on Tuesday at the Timber Section of the Uwakwe Ukaegbu International Building Material Market, Umuokpu, Awka, was organized as part of the Library’s activities to commemorate the 2024 World Cancer Day. The sensitization program also drew participation of traders from different sections of the market.
Dwelling more on prostrate cancer, the health technician, Amarachukwu, explained prostate cancer as a cancer that occurs in the prostate, and further described prostate itself as a small walnut-shaped gland in males that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.
While noting that cancer is the second largest killer disease in the world as at today, she also hinted that prostate cancer was one of the most common types of cancer; even as she shared key signs of prostate cancer, to include difficulty starting urination, weak/unstable urine flow, and pain during urination or ejaculation, pain/stiffness in lower back, among other signs. She further stressed that early diagnosis/detection of cancer significantly improves the chances of recovery, especially considering that most men with early-stage prostate cancer don’t experience noticeable symptoms.
According to her, smoking, age, family history, and obesity, are parts of the risk factors for cancer; even as she underscored the importance of regular screenings, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking as essential preventive measures. In addition to these insights, the health expert also provided valuable information on foods beneficial for optimal prostate health and immunity, as well as dietary recommendations aimed to empower men with proactive choices to support their well-being. These, according to her, include fresh tomatoes, berries, cruciferous vegetables, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, green tea, fatty fish, garlic, tumeric, legumes, among others.
“Eating a nutritious diet offers benefits well beyond the realm of prostate health, offering numerous advantages for overall well-being,” she added, while also calling on the individuals to prioritize, take absolute charge and good care of their health.
Contributing, the Director of Anambra State Library Board, Dr. Obioma Obalum, gave a comprehensive overview of the World Cancer Day, expressing gratitude to the traders for their time and attention, and active participation in the sensitization campaign, while also advising them to always avail themselves for such such opportunities and sensitization, as good health is worth much more than any wealth. She also urged the participants to apply and incorporate the knowledge gained at the event in their daily lives.
The Library Director also utilized the platform to shed light on various activities organized by the Library, encouraging parents to register themselves or their wards as library users, emphasizing the numerous opportunities and advantages that abound for library users throughout the state.
While presenting the Library as a valuable resource for personal and educational growth, Dr. Obalum also informed the traders about the ongoing ICT/Computer training offered by the Library at a very subsidized rate, urging them to avail their children to take advantage of the opportunity, owing to the importance of digital literacy in today’s world.
In their separate remarks, Mr. Ikechukwu Igwenagu, the Chairman of the Timber Section, Uwakwe Ukaegbu International Building Material Market, Umuokpu, and a trader in the market, Mr. Uchenna Okeke, appreciated the Library Board for bringing such richly packaged and impactful event to their doorstep; and which they attested, had exposed them to many life-changing knowledge; even as they assured to put everything they learnt into good use.
World Cancer Day is globally observed on February 4 every, with the aims to promote awareness about cancer and strengthen actions that strive to improve cancer care, detection, preventive measures and treatment.
The theme for 2024 World Cancer Day is “Close the Care Gap: Everyone Deserves Access to Cancer Care”. The theme is a part of a 3-year long campaign that started in 2022, now to end in 2024.