Link between ‘mursik’ and cancer faulty, experts say

Thursday August 01 2019

A woman pours milk into a gourd to prepare traditionally fermented milk commonly known as mursik. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Cancer experts have dispelled fears linking mursik (traditionally fermented milk) to throat cancer, saying no conclusive research has been conducted to determine the claims.

Data from the National Cancer Registry at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) carried out in Nairobi, Mombasa, Bomet and Meru show that 30 percent of men in Bomet suffer from oesophageal cancer, 18 percent prostate cancer and 12 percent stomach cancer.

In women, oesophageal cancer is leading, with 22 percent, followed by cervical (5.6 percent). Breast colon, rectal and anal cancer tie in third position with 3.9 percent.

Frequent drinking of the traditional mursik has been cited as the leading cause of cancer of the oesophagus in the greater the Rift Valley and parts of northern Kenya.

The National Cancer Institute said that the Rift Valley, upper Eastern and Northeastern regions recorded the highest number of oesophageal cancer.

But Dr Elias Melly, an oncologist, at Alexandria Cancer Centre, told the Nation that the conclusion was based on the fact that the sample was drawn from Tenwek Hospital, known for screening throat and other cancers.