Experts advocate national screening programme to reduce cancer in Nigeria
Medical experts have urged the Federal Government to come up with a national screening scheme for cancer to address the rising cases of the disease in the country.
A general practitioner, who is Head of Strategy, Development and Outreach at Lakeshore Cancer Centre in Lagos, Oge Ilegbune, while lamenting over the prevalent of cancer in Nigeria at an awareness campaign organised by the company urged government and individuals to find sustainable solutions that would prioritise prevention of the dieses.
Expectations are that the screening will lead to early detention and help the country to come down hard on widespread of cancer in the country thereby, reducing yearly loss to the life threatening disease.
Ilegbune, who believed that more than 80, 000 people died yearly than as estimated by World Health Organisation, insisted that awareness on cancer is low in the country.
“We don’t have a cancer registry in this country. The infrastructure is not there. We don’t have a national screening programme. Only few private organisations are concerned about these. We need government involvement. In the Western countries, governments are actively involved in screening people for cancer, we need that in the country,” Ilegbune said.
She added that training in medical related institutions in the country must be overhauled to make experts sensitive to cancer issues.
Ilegbune said cultural barrier remained a serious challenge in the fight against cancer, adding, “Convincing people to come for screening rather than wait until cancer spreads is a big challenge.”
Ilegbune said the event, organised in collaboration with Pathcare Laboratories and Dannis Ashley Wellness Centre was to mark the World Cancer day, test people for the diseases as measure of prevention and help to plant in the mind of people the reasons they must seek early detection of cancer.
Resident Physician at Dennis Ashley Wellness centre, Nkeonye Izuka said poor exercise adds to growing cases of cancer.
Izuka said obesity has been linked to colon, kidney, gallbladder, liver, stomach, breast, endometrial and ovarian cancers, with the last three diseases commonly in post menopausal.
“Just like we have national immunization programme, we also need national programme on cancer. Ideally, like we have in other countries, Nigeria needs to set a national screening programme, Izuka said corroborating Ilegbune’s point.
Lakeshore’s Business Manager and Research Coordinator, Bindiya Chugani bemoaned growing cases of cancer among children in Nigeria, stressing that it is uncalled-for.