2015 World Cancer Day: NGO advocates early testing, screening

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The Executive Director, Project Pink Blue, an NGO, Mr Runice Chidebe, has advised Nigerians to embrace early and regular cancer screening and testing to curb increasing cases of cancer related deaths.
Chidebe said this in Abuja on Wednesday at a forum organised in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Health as part of activities to mark the 2015 World Cancer Day.
He said the fact that cancer was responsible for many deaths in the country, the disease was not a death sentence as early detection and treatment was a key to survival.
“Cancer is treatable and can be managed if detected early.
“Cigarettes smoking, excessive drinking, excessive exposure to rays, radiation are risk factors to cancer diseases.
“Third degree relation who has died of cancer or has had it is also a factor to look out for,’’ he said.
Chidebe advised women to always do self breast examination which was a primary preventive measure and to take the vaccine to prevent cervical cancer.
According to him, when a man is over 40 years of age, he should go for prostate cancer screening and testing.
Chidebe said that chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery were some of the ways of caring for cancer patients.
“The theme of this year’s celebration implies `Not Beyond Us, We All Have a Part to Play, We Need Health Facility, Live a Healthy Life Style’’.
“Provision of free screening facility is another way of combating cancer,’’ he said.
The representative of the Minister of Health, Dr Ramatu Hassan, cautioned Nigerians against excessive cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption.
“People should always go the hospital for medical check-up, awareness is necessary; you don’t have to go to the hospital because you are sick, early detection is key.
“The federal ministry of health has provided healthcare centres for the screening of cervical, breast and prostate cancer.
“The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has provided a screening process in a low rate to encourage people to go for cancer screening.
“There is hope for people that have cancer, they should also teach their relatives how to look after themselves,’’ she said.
She expressed concern about all kinds of cancers, the focus on the common cancers which she listed as prostate, cervical and the breast was because of their spread in Nigeria.
She said that about 60 per cent of cancers affected mostly women which included breast and cervical cancer.
Similarly, Dr Andrew Zamani, a Psychologist, said cancer deaths were related to obesity, smoking, unsafe sex and the use of contaminated needles.
Zamani warned that the quality of life of cancer patients without social support could be affected, stressing that negative emotions were associated with cancer.
“Religious leaders must help to curb self denial by cancer patients, people have to accept their conditions and also get help in competent health centres.
“Counselling is a great way of helping the cancer patients in order to adhere to medical and behavioural prescription,’’ he said. (NAN)

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