Centre trains nurses on cancer treatment, care
Because nurses are at the integral part of health care delivery and can significantly influence the quality of care provided and ultimately, patient’s outcome, Lakeshore Cancer Care (LCC) has trained over 50 nurses.
Head Nurse, Oncology Department, Eko hospital, Matron Achomadu Chiji said nurses should give attention to details as one mistake made could adversely affect a cancer patient’s health. The sensitisation organised by the centre last week, with the theme, ‘Role of nursing in control of breast cancer’ had in attendance both nurses from private and public hospitals and cancer care centres.
Oncology nurses are professional nurses who focus on preventing cancer, caring for individuals with cancer and their families during diagnosis and treatment, caring for cancer survivors, and providing care at the end of life.
Progressively, more recognition is now given to the important role that nurses play in caring for cancer patients.
The American Oncology Nursing Society has issued a position statement of concern, stating that they believe that the nursing shortage will negatively affect cancer care, and calling for changes to be made at both an educational and a legislative level. The profession which is relatively new, Chiji said is one of the most challenging and rewarding fields because it is saddled with the responsibility of educating and encouraging patients during the most difficult and intimate moments of their lives.
In her words: “Caring for cancer patients is very rewarding. It is also a physically, mentally and emotionally demanding job. Oncology nurses should focus less on the disease and more on the patients and how they respond to the illness and the treatment.”
Cancer is the second most common cause of death in developed countries and among the three leading causes of death in developing countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that about 14 million new cases and 8.2 million deaths in 2012 related to cancer. In Nigeria, it is estimated that over 71,000 people die each year from cancer related causes, with about 102,000 new cases diagnosed each year.
The CEO, Lakeshore Cancer Centre and a Thoracic Surgical Oncologist, Prof. Chukwumere Nwogu said cancer is an enormous problem all over the world.
“You hear a lot about Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), tuberculosis and malaria, but more people die from cancer globally than all those three combined. Low-to-middle income countries carry a disproportionately higher burden of death from cancer, so it’s very appropriate for us to be doing this,” he added.
On clinical breast examination (CBE), Nwogu advised nurses to look at and feel the breasts and under the arms for lumps or anything else that seems unusual.
“A clinical breast exam is performed by a trained healthcare professional that could recognize many different types of abnormalities and warning signs.
Speaking on the relevance of CBE, he emphasised that it is an important part of early detection. “Although most lumps are discovered through breast examinations, an experienced professional may notice a suspicious place that fails to register as a warning in the patient’s mind.
Head, Oncology Unit, Lakeshore Cancer Centre, Nurse Emeribe Uchenna, advised women to regularly do both self examination and clinical checks, remain physically fit, reduce alcohol intake, and have healthy diet.
Uchenna added that breast cancer occurs almost entirely in women and early detection is germane to its survival.
She noted that there are non modifiable risks, which includes age, family history, gene, personal history, obesity, radiation and late side effect of chemotherapy, pregnancy history after 30 years of age; replace hormone therapy, late menopause and menstrual history.
Uchenna further advised cancer patients not to lose hope but to get the best care possible.
Centre Director, Lakeshore Cancer Centre, Bindiya Chugani-Sadarangani said training nurses is a continuous development and part of LCC’s vision.
“October was breast cancer awareness month and we realise that cancer care goes beyond this awareness month. This training for nurses becomes imperative to achieve excellence in all cancer care centre,” she added.
Chugani-Sadarangani added that Lakeshore cancer centre is running free clinical breast check to women over the age of 21 and mammogram for 5000 naira, and other cancer checks at discount rates in November.
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