Beth Mugo wins round 1 in cancer battle

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(Judie Kaberia) Public Health and Sanitation Minister Beth Mugo said on Friday that she was out of danger after successfully going through breast cancer treatment in the United States.

She told a press conference in Nairobi that the breast cancer was detected early and as a result she got early treatment.

“I am really in good health, I am well, and my treatment has gone very well. My doctors are very pleased, I thank you for your prayers, it is your prayers that healed me,” she appreciated.

She however said she would continue with medication, though for preventative purposes; “The treatment I am receiving now is really representative to make sure that this disease will not recur in future. That takes a little bit longer.”

While undergoing treatment in the US she managed to hold discussions with partners whom she said had pledged to support Kenya’s cancer centre.

“Being in the US has provided me with an opportunity to go even further in what we have been doing in the past. It held meetings and discussion with various institutions and individuals to forge partnerships to set up a cancer centre here in Kenya,” she said.

Through her personal experience, Mugo said she has learnt the importance of early detection and treatment of cancer insisting that it is curable and preventable if only it is discovered in early stages.

“Breast and cervical cancer if discovered early can be cured, early detection really helps. If cancer is presented at later stages, then you are trending on a dangerous ground,” she advised.

She urged the Treasury to release the proposed Sh300 million in the supplementary budget to finance cancer prevention programmes in the country; “We are asking for that money so that we can start this programme and stop our mothers and sisters from dying.”

Mugo also warned people who ignore possible signs of cancer and urged them to go for frequent checkups.

“Our women wait until they feel something hurts, cancer does not hurt until very late.”

Mugo’s sickness caused a lot of speculation especially in the social media at a time when Kenya had lost two key leaders, John Michuki and Njenga Karume, to prostate cancer.

Nobel Laureate Prof Wangari Maathai was also another key Kenyan personality who lost her battle to cervical cancer.

The 73 year old Dagoretti MP who passionately pledged her support to spearhead cancer programmes in the country became the latest Minister to publicly talk about cancer after her colleague Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

It is estimated that Kenya receives 80,000 new cases of cancer every year.

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