Someone once said ‘you don’t know how strong you are, until you have to beat cancer’, and sometimes being strong does not mean that you have to handle it all by yourself. A true warrior needs a sidekick by his side to fight this battle and come out victorious. Truly motivated to make a difference in this fierce and continuous battle against cancer in Mauritius, the Falcon Memorial Cancer Institute (FMCI), a cancer association, has recently taken birth to unite and support the patients that are affected by cancer, and their respective families. We believe that it is essential to provide proper care to patients suffering from any type of cancer in order to improve their lifestyle, and help them to better win this battle. No, cancer does not happen to others only, and no, cancer is not his or her concern only. It is above all the concern and battle of a whole community, and a whole country. But before going on the battlefield, there is a pressing need to inform and educate the population about cancer, its treatment and symptoms, the cancer hospital in Mauritius, healthy practices to prevent cancer, and other valuable information. Remember, forearmed is forewarned.
Cancer In Mauritius: What Do We Know?
2380. This is the number of new cases of cancer that were diagnosed in 2018 according to the Cancer Registry 2018 Report. Though a decrease has been noted in the number of new cases registered, compared to 2017, this does not mean that we should change our agenda, and anticipate a victory in this battle against cancer. Today, more than ever, we need to solidify our local structure to provide adequate care for cancer fighters while also being a shoulder to rely on for their close ones. The battle is on! Knowing that 10 million people die from cancer annually, according to Global Cancer data, institutions and partners need to join forces to make a change in the number of survivors against cancer locally. We need to build tough soldiers for this tough battle against cancer.
Did you know? The different types of cancer that exist can be categorized into a list from A to Z. You’ve probably thought to yourself, ‘Oh, really, I had no idea this type of cancer existed,’ when learning of a friend or acquaintance’s diagnosis. It is common for people to believe that cancer can only develop in certain specific parts of the body, such as the breast, the lung, or even the throat. However, you should know that cancer is a group of diseases that can potentially spread to many different parts of the body, including the mouth, the brain, and the thyroid, among others. In Mauritius, the three most common types of cancer among females are breast cancer, colorectal, and ovarian cancer, while among males, it is prostate, colorectal, and lung cancer.
Thus, it is primordial for the Mauritian population to be informed about the most common forms of cancer in our country, and those who are more at risk. It is not a shame or distress to inquire about cancer-related information. The more you are aware, the better you are prepared. The public needs to go for cancer screening as early detection of cancer augments the chances of successful cure and recovery. Taking the initiative to go for detection should at no point feel like a disgrace. Cancer is a word that tends to scare many people. After all, it is perfectly comprehensible. Sometimes your surroundings will tell you that cancer is deadly, cancer destroys your life, and cancer is incurable. But what they might forget to tell you is that with the right medical care and support, you can win this battle against cancer. All you have to do is not give up.
The 4th of February has been designated to commemorate World Cancer Day to remind each of us that our combat against cancer in Mauritius is a continuous one that can only be victorious if everyone stands together. But let’s not wait for cancer to attack us or for our dearest ones to make an effort. ‘As one people as one nation’, every step is a milestone in this battle.
Who are we?
As mentioned, precedently, the Falcon Memorial Cancer Institute (FMCI) aims to support and assist any individual that has in some way been affected by cancer. From patients diagnosed with any type of cancer to their families, and surrounding healthcare experts, or the public in general, FMCI is dedicated to providing financial assistance to patients who need treatment both in Mauritius and abroad, as well as funding research-based cancer, purchasing medical equipment to treat cancer in hospitals, and maintaining a solid effort to create widespread awareness about cancer in the population.
The Association’s objectives are mainly:
- Supporting all cancer and cancer-related activities, raising and investing the Association’s funds to assist and ensure the best possible life-saving treatment and care for financially disadvantaged cancer patients in Mauritius (both locally and internationally);
- Provide medical equipment to Mauritius’ cancer hospitals;
- Support for cancer research and development in Mauritius pertaining to treatment, care, and side-effects;
- Continuing to provide cancer patients with information resources and preventive cancer lifestyles, as well as cancer prevention and control;
- We provide emotional support to cancer patients.
The FMCI has been operating in Mauritius since September 2021 and has its seat at King George V Avenue, 3rd Floor, Floréal. Members of the association collaborate with hospitals specialized in oncology to identify and provide effective treatment and support to cancer fighters. Besides resenting the physical pain associated with cancer, there is also the emotional side of the illness that patients need to cope with. Stress, depression, loneliness, and other emotional hurricanes often seem like the hardest battle for patients. At FMCI, we truly believe that ‘together we are tougher than cancer’. This is why we commit ourselves to provide and supporting cancer patients that sometimes simply need a friend to talk with. But let’s not forget about the cancer survivors, those heroes that have conquered this battle. Our mission at the association is also to celebrate cancer survivors and honour their bravery.
Our goal is to upscale the facilities and assistance of cancer hospitals in Mauritius to offer quality treatment to patients. We commit ourselves to collaborate with strategic partners that have a key role to play in improving our situation in Mauritius so that together we can make a difference. But to achieve this, we all need to join our forces. Being informed about cancer is a vital preventive measure that we should not ignore. As it is foreseen that by 2040, the number of deaths related to cancer per year will increase to 16.3 million, the FMCI actively collaborates with concerned parties to reverse the trend. After all, we can beat this together!