The Mass Medical Mission (MMM), an NGO, on Thursday announced its plan to establish a Comprehensive Cancer Centre (CCC) in Nigeria.
This is to ensure efficient management of cancer related infections among Nigerians,
The mission’s Executive Secretary, Dr Abia Nzelu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the planned centre was mean to assist Nigerians in the management of cancerous infections.
“Cancer and its effects has sent many people to their early grave due to late presentation and detection.
“Also, many has lost their lives to cancer because there are no equipped cancer treatment facilities to treat complicated cancer cases and before they could source fund to travel abroad for treatment, the situation may take their lives.
“But the centre when established, will not only diagnose patients to detect cancer cases, but will also give full treatment to all kinds of cancer cases,” she said.
Nzelu said that the centre when operational would be an equipped with facilities for cancer diagnosis and treatment, adding that the centre had been referring the treatment of cancer abroad.
She said that the centre when completed would reduce the number cancer patients that would be traveling to other countries for treatments.
According to her, every day in Nigeria 32 women die of breast cancer, 28 women die of cervical cancer, 16 men die daily from prostate cancer and 14 persons die of liver cancer.
She said that awareness creation and early detection of cancer infections through regular screening were key to the patients’ survival.
Nzelu disclosed that the mission had in 2007 initiated the National Cancer Prevention Programme (NCPP) that had been organising community-based mass cancer screening across the country
“To date, over 200,000 people have been screened and vaccinated while millions of others have been reached through massive awareness and advocacy campaigns.
“The effort has contributed to a reduction of cancer deaths in Nigeria from 240 deaths daily to 196 deaths daily between 2008 and 2018 according to the WHO,” she said.
Nzelu said that cancer was expensive to treat, and with the possibility of affecting every part of the body, adding that the commonest cancer included breast, prostate, basal cell and skin cancers.
According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, one out of every three persons in the world will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.
Over 18 million people develop cancer yearly with 9.6 million deaths.
Cancer now contributes to 1 in 6 deaths globally. Unfortunately, 70 per cent of cancer deaths occurs in developing countries like Nigeria due to late detection.