As Zimbabweans we have a very unique relationship with our skin. We are a people who dismiss skin growths and moles as largely harmless and wait for them to disappear by themselves. Young girls and women yearn for beauty moles to the point of drawing them on as part of their beauty routines, and at times skin growths are termed as having extra meaning. An article written by Dr Kadzatsa, a lecturer at the College of Health Sciences, University of Zimbabwe and Mr. Chokunonga, the Registrar for the Zimbabwe National Cancer Registry (2016) cites non melanoma skin cancer as one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the country. Faced with such statistics we cannot continue to dismiss skin cancer as Zimbabweans. Well, we need to change our attitudes. Skin cancer is a very real thing and we need to be aware of our risks
The warning signs of skin cancer can mostly be defined using the acronym ABCDE. This means that you must start suspecting skin cancer if your skin mole is asymmetrical as in if you draw a line through the mole the two halves will not match, the border/edges of the mole will be notched or uneven, the colour will be varied i.e. different shades and the diameter of the mole will usually be wider than a benign mole. A malignant mole i.e. one that is cancerous will evolve over time meaning it will change in shape, colour, size or start to itch or bleed. Other symptoms that are not necessarily part of the acronym include a sore that takes very long to heal
Fortunately there are ways that we can embrace to avoid and lessen the risk of getting cancer of the skin. Zimbabwe is generally a very hot country but us the citizens take the heat for granted. We breeze around our daily business with barely a hint of sunscreen to protect us from the sun’s rays. Well, that behavior has to stop. Always use sunscreen in all kinds of weather, be it sunny, blistering hot, overcast or cold. Apply your sunscreen all over the body even body parts covered by clothes ad reapply every two hours of after swimming or excessive sweating.
Know your own body. Are you aware of all the moles, skin growths and lesions on your body and how they came to be resident in that particular part of your body? One would be surprised but there are people who would not recognise their own body in a line up. We had this argument in the Office and you would be surprised by the number of people who owned up to failing such a test. Make it a habit to examine your skin from head to toe on a regular basis so you know when there are any unusual developments. Set appointments with your dermatologist regularly and get skin examinations that will help you to detect and get treatment early.
One truth that should hit home for the majority is that although skin cancer is less common in dark skinned people it can be more fatal because it is detected at an advanced stage. Skin cancer doesn’t follow any set rules, if you see an odd looking skin mole on your body that you don’t understand, instead of dismissing it as a chihanzvadzi” that will go away with time. Get it checked by a doctor! Saturday the 4th of February is World Cancer Day. Share this article and let a fellow Zimbabwean know that they could be risk. – Corporate 24
The Republic of Zimbabwe is a country located in the Southern Africa region. Its capital city is :Harare and the country has 10 provinces. Zimbabwe is 390,580 sq km and is bordered on all sides by other countries (Zambia in the north, South Africa in the South, Botswana in the west and Mozambique in the east). The Zimbabwean population includes the native Africans, most of whom are indigenous Shona and Ndebele. Besides these major ethnic groups, there are also migrant citizens mainly from sub-Saharan Africa. Besides these foreigners resident in Zimbabwe, there are also a number of other local indigenous ethnic minorities scattered in different corners of the country and these include the Tonga, the Tawara, Venda and Kalanga people. As at 2012, the population of people in Zimbabwe stood at 13 061 239. The National Anthem. Click below to play Read More