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Rising cases of oesophageal cancer worry Mandera officials.

The Mandera department of medical services has raised concerns over rising cases of oesophageal cancer in the county.

The department's chief officer Dr Hassan Mohamed said 11 patients have been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer since January this year.

Mohamed spoke to journalists at the county hospital on Tuesday.

He said there were nine cases of the disease reported in 2018.

County health facilities have been overwhelmed with patients in need of CT scan facilities but the only machine in the county has not been operational.

Doctors have been forced to refer patients to Nairobi for the services.

'What we do is only blood tests for blood cancers. If too many or too few of a type of blood cell or abnormal cells are found, a bone marrow biopsy may help confirm a diagnosis of blood cancer,' Mohamed said.

He said the county health facilities are able to perform breast cancer tests because they have a morphology machine.

Dr Abdiaziz Mohamed, a surgeon, asked residents to embrace healthy dietary lifestyles.

He urged residents to eat foods rich in zinc, copper and other nutrients other than living on milk and meat alone.

The surgeon said oesophageal cancer is on the rise due to smoking, drinking very hot beverages among other causes.

The National Cancer Institute on Tuesday tabled a report detailing cancer prevalence rates per county, a move it hoped will help shape government intervention in combating the scourge.

The report submitted to the National Assembly's Health Committee by institute CEO Alfred Karagu revealed the top three most prevalent cancer among men and women in selected counties.

The report showed that oesophagus and prostate cancer are the most common cancers among males in the 11 counties sampled.

Oesophagus cancer - which is the leading killer cancer in the country - is more prevalent in Kisumu, Kakamega, Nyeri, Nakuru, Bomet and Eldoret counties affecting both men and women, according to NCI.

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Publication:The Star (Nairobi, Kenya)
Date:Aug 3, 2019
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