CANCER PREVENTION AND SUPPORT PROJECT

Ddamulira & Sons Foundation works to enhance cancer prevention by providing counseling and support to all people affected by cancer. According to the World Health Organizations, Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide accounting for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018. Globally, about 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer. Approximately 70% of deaths from cancer occur in low and middle income countries like Uganda.  Around one third of deaths from cancer are due to the 5 leading behavioral and dietary risks that are high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol use.

Tobacco use is the single most important risk factor for cancer and is responsible for approximately 22% of cancer-related deaths globally. More than 90% of high-income countries reported treatment services are available compared to less than 30% of low-income countries like Uganda. One defining feature of cancer is the rapid creation of abnormal cells that grow beyond their usual boundaries, and which can then invade adjoining parts of the body and spread to other organs, the latter process is referred to as metastasizing. Metastases are a major cause of death from cancer. Cancer arises from the transformation of normal cells into tumour cells in a multistage process that generally progresses from a pre-cancerous lesion to a malignant tumour.  Physical carcinogens, such as ultraviolet and ionizing radiation, chemical carcinogens, such as asbestos, components of tobacco smoke, aflatoxin (a food contaminant), and arsenic (a drinking water contaminant); and biological carcinogens, such as infections from certain viruses, bacteria, or parasites.

Ageing is another fundamental factor for the development of cancer. The overall risk accumulation is combined with the tendency for cellular repair mechanisms to be less effective as a person grows older. Approximately 15% of cancers diagnosed in 2012 were attributed to carcinogenic infections, including Helicobacter pylori, Human papillomavirus, Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis C virus, and Epstein-Barr virus. Hepatitis B and C virus and some types of HPV increase the risk for liver and cervical cancer, respectively. Infection with HIV substantially increases the risk of cancers such as cervical cancer. Many cancers have a high chance of cure if diagnosed early and treated adequately. We work to enhance cancer cure and life of cancer patients through supportive or palliative care, aid and psychosocial support. Some of the most common cancer types, such as breast cancer, cervical cancer, oral cancer, and colorectal cancer have high cure rates when detected early and treated according to best practices. We partner and coordinate all  efforts for a systematic contribution towards effective cancer control in Uganda through fostering collaborative advocacy, awareness creation, capacity building, research and patient support.