Health minister’s message on the occasion of cancer awareness month-‘Adopt a healthier lifestyle to reduce cancer’


Minister Larue“October is the month that Seychelles chooses to highlight cancer awareness in the country. This month should serve as a vital reminder for every person, organisation, and the government to do their part to reduce the burden of cancer and premature deaths.

“WHO (World Health Organisation) has set a target of 25% reduction by 2025. We can and should aim to do better here. Cancer is the second most common cause of death in Seychelles after cardiovascular diseases. The two most common cancers in men are prostate and colorectal cancers and in women breast and cervical cancers. 

“Cancer knows no boundaries. It will certainly touch us all at some point in our lives; be it personally, through a family member, a colleague or a friend who gets affected. It remains one of the most dreaded diseases and yet not enough is being done at all levels to prevent it. 

“Up to half of all cancers can be prevented by the things that we do, our daily habits, our lifestyles… For those that we cannot prevent, we can do more to ensure their early detection and treatment towards a cure.

“My message today is three-pronged: First and foremost, primary prevention remains the key. The message is simple: adopt a healthier lifestyle that includes good and balanced diet, regular physical activity, avoidance of substance use such as cigarettes, drugs and alcohol. 

“Secondly, learn how to do self-examination (e.g. of breasts and testicles) and to recognise the early signs and symptoms of cancer. If you do not know how to do self-examination, get yourselves informed by someone who knows.

“Thirdly, attend to regular screening tests like pap smears and prostate examination when recommended.

“The Ministry of health would continue to strive for cancer prevention with the aim of reducing this disease burden. Take control of your health and that of your family. Let us all take responsibility for reducing the burden of this disease. Together it is possible; alone lives will continue to be lost.”

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