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UCH seeks support to deliver comprehensive cancer care

By Chukwuma Muanya
29 April 2022   |   4:07 am
For comprehensive cancer care and survival of patients, the University of Ibadan Alumni Association (UIAA) and University College Hospital (UCH), yesterday, sought support from public and private sectors in this regard.

Immediate past president, University of Ibadan Alumni Association (UIAA) Worldwide, Dr. Kemi Emina (right); The Guardian Publisher, Lady Maiden Alex-Ibru; President, UIAA Worldwide, Prof. Elsie Adewoye and Chairman, UIAA, Lagos Chapter, Otunba Salau Dauda Folaranmi, during their courtesy visit to the corporate headquarters of The Guardian in Lagos… yesterday. PHOTO: FEMI ADEBESIN-KUTI

For comprehensive cancer care and survival of patients, the University of Ibadan Alumni Association (UIAA) and University College Hospital (UCH), yesterday, sought support from public and private sectors in this regard.

UCH is the flagship tertiary healthcare institution and first teaching hospital in Nigeria, offering world-class training, research and services.

President of UIAA, Prof. Elsie Adewoye, made the appeal during a visit to the Rutam House headquarters of The Guardian in Lagos.

Adewoye, on behalf of the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Jesse Abiodun Otegbayo, said to move to the next level, support from government and the private sector in form of more funding and endowments to adequately equip the hospital with more essential infrastructure, technology and other necessities was needed.

She said the Federal Government – owner of the medical facility and well-meaning corporate bodies and individuals – need to come up with the desired assistance.

UIAA Worldwide, last month, said it was set to establish a N2 billion world-class cancer diagnostic centre in Nigeria to reduce the high burden of the disease.

Adewoye stated that the project “is geared towards creating awareness that cancer can be treated and cured, if it is detected early and presented for treatment at the early stage.”

She added that the association was also ready to partner the media to achieve the objectives.

The professor of medicine said: “Currently, our Cancer Care Department has two brachytherapy machines. There is a cancer building under construction with in-built two bunkers, which could house medical linear accelerator (LINAC) machines when completed. The building is currently about 70 per cent completed. Below are the main needs of the hospital for therapeutic and diagnostic cancer care. We will appreciate your assistance in any way to help the hospital to up our services in cancer care.”

A LINAC is the device most commonly used for external beam radiation treatments for patients with cancer. It delivers high-energy x-rays or electrons to the region of the patient’s tumor.

The treatments could be designed in such a way that they destroy the cancer cells while sparing the surrounding normal tissue.

The LINAC is used to treat all body sites, using conventional techniques, Intensity-Modulated.

Radiation Therapy (IMRT), Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT), Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT), Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) and Stereotactic Body Radio Therapy (SBRT).

Adewoye said the facilities required for comprehensive cancer care at UCH are for diagnosis and treatment.

For diagnosis, she noted: “Laboratory (input of anatomic pathologists, chemical pathologists, hematologists required)- histology, special stains, immunohistochemistry, frozen section, tumour markers assay, percutaneous biopsy facilities (liver, kidney), endoscopy with biopsy (already available) and bone marrow biopsy.

“Radiology (input of radiologists and nuclear physicians required)- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Tesla 1.5, Computed Tomography (CT) Scan 128 slice, ultrasound with rectal and vaginal examination probes, interventional radiology equipment, bone scan (already available), Positron emission tomography (PET) and a single-photon emission computerised tomography (SPECT).”

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans produce detailed images of the organs and tissues in the body.

A CT scan or computed tomography scan is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to obtain detailed internal images of the body noninvasively for diagnostic purposes.

PET scans detect early signs of cancer, heart disease and brain disorders.

SPECT scan allows the doctor to analyse the function of some of the internal organs.

For cancer treatment, she said UCH Cancer Centre needs: “For radiation therapy, we need LINAC of variable energy with photon and electron, CT Stimulator, treatment planning system, C-arm with DICOM and other image acquisition and transmission facilities, brachytherapy (available) and whole body irradiation facility.

“For chemotherapy, we need continuous and ambulatory infusion pumps, dedicated chemotherapy rooms/facilities with adequate and comfortable sitting and bed, biosafety cabinets and patient’s monitors. For hematology, we need bone marrow irradiation and transplant. We also need facilities for cryotherapy, radiofrequency ablation therapy and palliative care support.”

DICOM is the standard storage, transfer and viewing format for diagnostic images and, whether the C-arm uses its own computer or a conversion accessory to convert images into DICOM, hospitals are probably going to need it.

Cryotherapy, sometimes known as cold therapy, is the local or general use of low temperatures in medical therapy.