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Medical experts decry prevalence of cancer In Nigeria

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JOHNSON OJO, Ado Ekiti

Nigerians have been charged to rise against the scourge of cancer at whatever stage of development in the country.Medical practitioners in Ekiti State gave the charge at a public lecture entitled “Fighting The Scourge of Cancer In Nigeria”, held at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido-Ekiti (FETHI), Ekiti State.

At the lecture organised by Nigerian Medical Association (National Committee on Cancer) in partnership with the tertiary health institution to commemorate the 2019 World Cancer Day in the state said efforts must also be geared towards stemming the proliferation and prevalences of cancer in the society.

The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr Adekunle Ajayi, in his opening remarks, lauded the choice of the hospital by NMA as the venue of the programme, adding that the hospital has been going round the communities to sensitise the people and offer free screening exercises on cancer.

He said the hospital usually go on outreach services at least twice in a week as part of her core duties to make quality healthcare services delivery readily available for people at the grassroots, who perhaps are indigent.

He therefore called on well-to-do Nigerians to come to the aid of cancer patients, as treatments of the scourge are expensive.

In her goodwill message, the wife of the Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs Foluke Adeyemo, commended the organisers for sensitising the people, especially girls on the need for early screening and how to prevent and treat cancer.

Provost of Afe Babalola College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Prof. Rotimi Sanya and Chairman, NMA national committee on cancer, Dr Sunday Omoya who represented the NMA President, Dr Francis Faduyile at the event, also spoke against the prevalence of the scourge.

The guest speaker, Dr Abidemi Omonisi, a Consultant Anatomic Pathologist and Director of Ekiti State Cancer Registry, noted that if breast, cervix and prostrate cancers can be fought to a standstill, the prevalence of cancer will drop drastically in Nigeria.

Omonisi described cancer as the uncontrolled growth and spread of cells that can affect almost any part of the body, adding that the growths often invade surrounding tissue and can metastasize (spread) to distant sites.

While analysing the established environmental and genetic causes of human cancer, the speaker said industrial chemicals, asbestos fibres, radiation, pesticides, drugs, diet and chromosomal instability can all lead to cancers.

He said early screening should hence be encouraged as one of the ways to stymie the spread of cancers.

He itemised other preventive measures to include health education, setting up and funding of cancer registry, taking rainbow diets (balanced diets), reduction in unhealthy lifestyle, self examination of breast and other parts of the body and creating a policy that will promote easy access to affordable treatment and research among others.

Dr Omonisi, who listed surgery and radiation therapy as ways of treating cancers, however stressed the importance of multidisciplinary approach on the treatment, maintaining that a single doctor must not manage a cancer patient.

Present at the occasion include the NMA Chairman, Ekiti State Chapter, Dr Tunji Omotayo, other Consultants in the hospital, members of management committee and other members of staff.

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