Health: Cancer patients must seek early treatment, says oncologist


A senior resident in Radiation Oncology at the NSIA- LUTH Cancer Center, Dr. Chidi Agbakwuru, has said the country’s estimated 72,000 yearly cancer deaths may witness reduction if patients are allowed to seek early medical attention instead of being discouraged by religious leaders.

Agbakwuru and other experts gave the advice during a webinar tagged, ‘Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology Management.’

“Being a leading global health burden with an estimated 10 million incidences and six million cancer deaths yearly, as much as 102,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed yearly from Nigeria’s population of 200 million people according to the US National Library of Medicine.

“Necessary steps including regulations on some medicines, including medical marijuana are, therefore, necessary to fight the disease,” Agbakwuru said.

Also, a Consultant Medical Oncologist at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Dr. Chinenye Iwuji, stressed the importance of palliative and supportive care in oncology management.

She noted that religious leaders remained critical to people, especially during life-threatening challenges, but must not be allowed to take over the roles of medical practitioners.
A Clinical Psychologist, Busola Olamuyiwa, said discouraging patients from seeking early medical attention may continue to worsen the burden of cancer in the country.
“The concern for some of the medical experts was also that while medical marijuana has not been legalised in Nigeria, cannabidiol remained unfortunately available in various forms over the counter with limited regulation,” she said.




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