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Cancer mortality in Nigeria, other developing countries to rise 70 per cent by 2030 – Expert

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Cancer mortality in Nigeria and other less developed countries is projected to rise by more than 70 per cent by 2030.

Director, Cancer Research and Molecular Biology Laboratories, Biochemistry department, University of Ibadan, Prof. Oyeronke Odunola stated this at the Ellen Adeyinka Anjorin Cancer Foundation first annual memorial cancer awareness lecture held virtually via Google Meet.

Speaking on the theme “Cancer Prevention and Survival”, Odunola, who was the guest speaker said globally, about one in six deaths is due to cancer, while approximately 70 per cent of death from the disease occur in low and middle-income countries like Nigeria.

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” By 2030, 85 per cent of all cancer death may be occurring in low-middle income countries,” she said.

Odunola attributed the projection to delay inaccurate diagnoses, low awareness about cancer and potential value of therapy, lack of access and ability to deliver potentially curative therapy and abandonment of therapy.

According to her, the top five cancers of the greatest burden in the country are prostate, breast, liver, cervix uteri and colorectal.

She said according to available data for new cases in 2018, 29.1 per cent of Nigerian men had prostate cancer, 7per cent had colorectum, 7.3 per cent non-hodgkin lymphoma, 6.9 per cent liver, 3.5 per cent stomach while other forms of cancers constituted 45.2 per cent.

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For women, 37per cent of them had breast cancer, 21 per cent of cervix uteri, 4.4 per cent colorectum, 3.9 per cent ovary, 2.9 per cent non-hodgkin lymphoma while 30.7per cent had other forms of cancers.

Odunola warned of risk factors for cancer development such as alcohol and tobacco use, wood dust, obesity, unhealthy diet, sedentary lifestyle, sexually transmitted HIV infection, radiation, occupational hazards and electromagnetic fields.

Speaking on prevention, the expert urged Nigerians to be active and maintain a healthy weight.

She said two-third of all cancers may be prevented by avoiding/limiting alcohol consumption, tobacco, eating adequate fruits and vegetables daily, knowing the family history of cancer, limiting exposure to the sun and radiation.

Founder of the foundation, Olusegun Anjorin stressed the need to improve on treatment and facilities in Nigeria to what is obtainable in developed countries.

He said one of the objectives of the foundation is to put in place a world-class cancer centre that will be affordable and accessible to all.

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