10 Facts Young People Should Know About Cancer

Botswana, like most countries in the world has a problem of cancer causalities every day. Cancer affects everyone, the young and old, the rich and poor, men, women and children and represents a tremendous burden on patients, families and societies. Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the world, particularly in developing countries like Botswana. Yet, many of these deaths can be avoided.


  1. There are more than 100 different types of cancers that affect different parts of the body. So it is wise for one to go to such testing centres as Diagnofirm or use government clinics in the local community.
  2. Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of cancer in the world causing 22% of cancer deaths. We have so many young people in our country who smoke; this is a cause for concern.
  3. About 70% of all cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. And this makes us here in Botswana no exception.
  4. Worldwide, the 5 most common types of cancer that kill men are (in order of frequency): lung, stomach, liver, colorectal and oesophagus. So young men of Botswana should do routine check us, as not to be a statistic.
  5. Botswana has a population of 668761 women ages 15 years and older who are at risk of developing cervical cancer. Cancers of major public health relevance such as breast, cervical and colorectal cancer can be cured if detected early and treated adequately.
  6. One fifth of all cancers worldwide are caused by a chronic infection, for example human papillomavirus (HPV) causes cervical cancer and hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes liver cancer.
  7. All patients in need of pain relief could be helped if current knowledge about pain control and palliative care were applied. Awareness and personal research can come in handy, so that we can be of help to others.
  8. More than 30% of cancer could be prevented, mainly by not using tobacco, having a healthy diet, being physically active and moderating the use of alcohol. In developing countries up to 20% of cancer deaths could be prevented by immunization against the infection of HBV and HPV.
  9. Cancer does not choose. Anyone can be a victim of this pandemic. Everyone is at risk of having any form of cancer; henceforth even young people are encouraged to take it upon themselves to have checkups.
  10. Symptoms are not always obvious. Most people find out they suffer from cancer when t is in the last stage that is when they start to get seriously sick and ultimately pass away, because we are not that very advanced in issues of health. Do not wait until it’s too late.

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