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Cancer mortality in Nigeria to rise by 70 per cent by 2030 – expert

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Cancer mortality in Nigeria and other developing 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 deaths from the disease occur in low and middle income countries like Nigeria.

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. 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.

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

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

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Oyeronke Odunola
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