Paul Opoku Agyemang, the Executive Director of African Cancer Organisation (ACO) has advised parents to keep mobile phones away from children as research has proven that they expose them to radiation, which causes cancer.
He said mobile phones were very useful but because a child’s nervous system was still in its developmental process the long exposure to radiation could cause brain cancer.
Mr Agyemang, who was addressing a workshop, organised the ACO for staff of the Ghana News Agency, in Accra, also urged adults to also minimise their use of cell phones to protect them.
Some researchers had suggested that using a mobile phone an hour a day for 10 years was equivalent to one-minute exposure to radiation from a microwave, he said.
It was, therefore, advisable to put long phone conversations on the loudspeaker or to use an earpiece to remedy the situation.
People should use mobile phones with low Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) as a safety precaution, he said, adding that phones with SAR above three emitted more radiation.
The training is part of the Organisation’s series of sensitisation programmes of using research data to promote cancer prevention through awareness creation and screening.
The programme is to help people to avoid exposure to things that could cause cancer (carcinogens), undergo screening for early detection and effective treatment.
He observed that many cancer patients in Ghana accessed medical care when their conditions had reached the terminal stage (stages three or four levels, thus leaving them with only an option of palliative (pain management care).
The Executive Director explained that cancer that cancer was an abnormal growth of cells in any part of the human body; while the cancer received its name from the part of the body it developed.
They spread to other parts of the body, mainly through the blood vessels, and the lymphatic nodes.
“Normally, human cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When the cells grow old or become damaged, they die and new cells take their place, but when cancer develops, they don’t die and the process becomes disorderly,” he explained.
He classified the causes of cancer as chemical, biological and infections.
There could also be underlying determinants, which could be social, economic or cultural factors in nature.
They include globalisation, ageing population, general environment policies and stress.
Liver, cervical, breast, prostate, colon, rectum, anal, oral cavity, stomach and ovarian cancers, he said, were among the common cancers in Ghana.
He emphasised the need for regular screening, vaccination against the Human papillomavirus, and early detection to minimise the incidence of virus.
Ghana should also establish a Cancer Registry to monitor the incidence, trend, care, treatment, survival rates, among others to have the requisite information for effective decision making and control.