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How delay in accurate diagnoses, lack of awareness fuel cancer, by expert

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A medical expert and chief consultant clinical and radiation oncologist, National Hospital Abuja, Dr. Bello Mohammed, on Tuesday lamented the increase in cancer cases in the country, just as he advised people to eat fruits and vegetables to lower their risk of developing cancer.

The oncologist said that the increase in cancer mortality is largely due to delay in accurate diagnoses and particularly lack of awareness in the part of members of the public.

Mohammed gave the advice during a valedictory lecture titled: “Reducing the Scourge of Cancer”, organised in honour of Prof. Lawrence Chukwuma Chiedozi, a Professor of Surgery with Igbinedion University Okada (IUO) in Edo state.

He said stressed the need to reducing the scourge of cancer by embracing a healthy eating habit and lifestyle to eliminate cancer mortalities in the country. Mohammed who described cancer disease as a malignant growth or tumour resulting from an uncontrolled division of cells said, “Cancer mortality in more developed countries is projected to decrease by 30 per cent by 2030 and in developing countries projected to increase by 70 per cent by 2030.

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“By 2030, 85 per cent of all cancer deaths may be occurring in low-middle income countries.

“The increase in cancer mortality is largely due to delay in accurate diagnoses, lack of awareness about cancer and potential value of therapy, lack of access and ability to deliver potentially curative therapy and abandonment of therapy,” he said.

Mohammed said that developed countries reduced cancer mortalities by improving on good health system, primary healthcare such as vaccination against preventable diseases.

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Others are secondary healthcare – early recognition of symptoms and good referral system and tertiary healthcare – availability of clinicians to make proper diagnosis.

“Also providing equipment for diagnosis such as CT scan, MRI, bone scan, Doppler,’’ he said.

Mohammed added that a robust surgical oncology team with multidisciplinary approach, functional and adequate radiotherapy machines, linear accelerators, “brachy therapy for cervical, prostate and even breast cancers can reduce cancer mortalities’’.

“Now is the time to convene civil society across health fields to build coalitions and joint campaigns around cervical cancer.

“Now is the time to politically drive action at national levels and to partner with governments to share information on cervical cancer and the risks and opportunities to intervene,” he said.

Earlier, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, Vice Chancellor of Igbinedion University, Okada described Prof. Lawrence Chiedozi, as a great man with many achievements just as Chiedozi thanked the management of the university for showing him love while in service. “This great university has produced men and women of honour through the knowledge of Prof. Chiedozi.,” Ezemonye said.

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