Lakeshore Cancer Center, first operational facility in Nigeria dedicated to cancer prevention and treatment have called for the adoption of preventive measures to address growing cases and mortality resulting from cancer in Nigeria.
Chukwumere Nwogu, the CEO of Lakeshore Cancer Center and a leading Cancer Epidemiologist and Surgical Oncologist, noted that available cancer statistic for Nigeria is under-estimated since cancer registration in Nigeria is markedly incomplete. A research conducted by International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2018 had however noted that about 115,950 new cancer cases, 70,327 cancer deaths and 211,052 prevalent cases (five-year) were recorded in the period under review.
But Nwogu and other medical experts, who gathered at the 2019 annual oncology conference of the Lagos-based Lakeshore Cancer Center, to discuss ways to ‘Improving Cancer Outcomes in Nigeria,’ believed that early detention, lifestyle changes as well as concerted efforts of government and private players could reduce the spread of the disease.
The experts, who decried cases of breast cancer, said among the solutions to avoiding cancer, especially breast cancer and remaining healthy are control of alcohol intake, adequate breastfeeding and consumption of vegetables in daily meals.
“18 million cases are recorded annually with about 1 million deaths. Cancer is a great problem all over the world. Hence, we need a lot of work on it,” Nwogu said.
He said there was need to pay more attention to some practices including varieties of meal with pertinent attention to vegetable.
“Vegetable should be part of our food. We should start inculcating that at home and at restaurants.
“How can one person alone consume a full bottle of wine? I’m not saying you should not drink. However, moderation is key when consuming alcohol or wine. The more the intake of alcohol, the higher the risk,” the oncologist said.
Nwogu named modifiable risk factors to include obesity, exercise, alcohol, breastfeeding and hormone replacement therapy.
According to him, one of three cases of cancers is preventable, potentially curable and can be palliated effectively therefore there is need for increase cancer awareness, improve knowledge and capacity while plans should be evidence-based, priority driven and resource-appropriate
Nwogu also made case for training and education, adding that connectivity remained crucial as well as access to care.
In a joint research on Oncology Emergencies, Okezie Ofor, a Consutlant Medical Oncologist, and Azeez Salawu, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Nottingham University Hospitals, said it is important to have adequate support systems in place for patients on systemic anticancer treatments.
They noted that many oncology emergencies are reversible or at least have reversible symptoms, while stressing that early recognition remained critical while multidisciplinary working is key to improving outcomes in cancer.