Health

Expert lists ways to reduce cancer burden

Supreme Desk
29 July 2022 9:24 PM GMT
Expert lists ways to reduce cancer burden
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Durosinmi-Etti noted that cancer cases were on the increase globally, and worse in developing countries such as Nigeria where patients present with late and advanced disease.

A Chief Consultant Radiation and Clinical Oncologist, Prof. Francis Durosinmi-Etti, says early detection, diagnosis and treatment remains the cost effective way to reduce the burden of cancer in Nigeria and globally.

Durosinmi-Etti, who is the Chief Executive Officer, NSIA-LUTH Cancer Centre, made the assertion in an interview on Friday in Lagos.

Cancer is a large group of diseases that can start in almost any organ or tissue of the body when abnormal cells grow uncontrollably, go beyond their usual boundaries to invade adjoining parts of the body and/or spread to other organs.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020, or nearly one in six deaths.

Durosinmi-Etti noted that cancer cases were on the increase globally, and worse in developing countries such as Nigeria where patients present with late and advanced disease.

According to him, for such patients, only palliative care measures will be given as the disease has advanced beyond cure.

"Cancer affects all ages from newborn to old men and women. It affects both the rich and the poor; black and white skin colour.

"The sensible and most cost effective way to reduce the burden of cancer in Nigeria and globally is to pre-empt and prevent it through measures such as early detection, early diagnosis and early treatment.

"There are many schemes currently in place to ensure early detection and treatment of cancer," he said.

Durosinmi-Etti noted that breast and cervical cancer which account for over 50 per cent of all forms of cancers seen among women in Nigeria were the commonest cancer seen at the NSIA-LUTH Cancer Centre.

He added that others were cancer of the prostate gland in men; cancer in the head and neck region; cancers in the colon and rectum and blood related cancers known as leukaemia and lymphomas.

The professor said that cancer in children; liver cancer; bladder cancers and bone cancers were also seen at the centre.

According to him, the cost for comprehensive cancer care is not cheap.

He noted that the care involves making diagnosis through thorough investigations including biopsies, histopathology, immunohistochemistry and various blood tests including tumour markers.

Durosinmi-Etti said after diagnosis various multidisciplinary teams of cancer experts would review the patient to know whether treatment would be for curative or palliative purposes.

"These procedures cost money and at the end of the day, an average patient may require between one million and five million naira for full comprehensive care. Sometimes it may cost more.

"The solution again is to have a National Cancer Care Insurance policy," he said.

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