By Steve Unegbu
Cancer ,which has been described as the second leading cause of death globally, accounted for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018 , and an estimated 70327 cancer -related deaths in 2018 in Nigeria.
This was made known ,during a press briefing organized by the Nigerian Medical Association, Abia state chapter ,held at the Federal Medical Center Umuahia to mark the occasion of the World Cancer Day 2020.
The President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Dr Francis .A. Faduyile ,who was represented by the Abia state chairman of Nigerian medical Association, Dr Mrs Carol Iwuoha ,revealed that information from World Health Organisation showed a progressive increase from 12.7 million in 2008 to 14.1 million in 2012 and 18.1 million in 2018,indicating an increase of 5.4 million new cases in 2018 compared to the new cases observed in 2008.
She lamented at the tremendous increment in the number of cancer-related deaths globally and in Nigeria, regretted that ,” despite the fact that 30-50% of these cancers are preventable and another 30% of the deaths avoidable by early detection, diagnosis and treatment”
She however said ,” we must reverse the trend and contribute positively to influence appropriate response at individual, family, community and national level and that We must also raise the pillar of support for those in the fight against cancer and their families ” she said
According to her , the three most common cancers in Nigeria are Breast cancer (22.7% of all cancer cases in Nigeria) ,cervical cancer (12.9%) and Prostate cancer (11.3% ) ,account for an estimated 46.9% of all cancer cases” said they are preventable through appropriate low cost screening modalities, Early detection, diagnosis and that treatment of these cancers will drastically reduce cancer-related deaths in Nigeria.
She pointed out that the Nigerian Medical Association acknowledge the efforts of the Federal Government at addressing issues related to cancer treatment in Nigeria, but are particularly concerned on the low rate of implementation of the Nigerian Cancer Control Plan 2018-2022 and worried also that there is no clear national policy on cancer which is very important to drive the various activities and actions needed to prevent cancer and its attendant morbidities and mortalities.