Cyprus Mail

Cancer awareness campaign being launched in the army

Fotis Fotiou signing the memorandum of cooperation with PASYKAF

THE number of males aged 15 to 35 suffering from cancer is on the rise, according to latest research, Defence Minister Fotis Fotiou said yesterday.

Fotiou was speaking at the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the ministry and the Cyprus Association of Cancer Patients and Friends (PASYKAF).

The cooperation agreement aims to systematically inform and raise awareness about the prevention and early diagnosis of cancer to conscripts.

The memorandum was signed by Fotiou and the general director of PASYKAF Nicholas Philippou.

The first workshops will begin next month and will focus on testicular cancer.

Further sessions will include information on skin and colon cancer. The consequences of smoking and the benefits of healthy eating and exercise will also be covered.

“Great weight will be given to how the attitudes of these young men can be changed when it comes to adopting a healthy lifestyle. Our goal is to build a safety net,” Fotiou stressed.

Commenting on the age group of men which has seen an increase in cancer sufferers, Fotiou said this age range covers the majority of military personnel serving the National Guard either as conscripts or reservists.

“This is the first time that a systematic and intensive campaign aimed at the educating military personnel and, especially soldiers, on the prevention and early diagnosis of the disease is being done,” Fotiou said.

Fotiou said the effort was being dedicated to the memory Panayiotis Louka, who fell ill with an aggressive form of leukemia while serving in the army.

Philippou said urologists and doctors would be involved in the lectures. Brochures and cards with instructions for self-examination, prepared by the scientific committee of PASYKAF will also be given out.

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